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Football: Gambling

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 134495, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on children of gambling advertising to children through football (a) cards, (b) stickers, (c) magazines and (d) other football merchandise.

Answered on

14 January 2021

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Adverts must never be targeted at children, or appear in media created for children. These rules mean that an operator would face sanction by the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear on football cards, or stickers, or in magazines targeted at children. The depiction of a team football shirt which features the logo of a gambling operator is not considered advertising. However, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising requires that operators ensure their logo does not appear on commercial merchandise which is designed for children, which includes replica football shirts in children’s sizes.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates an association between exposure to operator logos in childhood and problem gambling in childhood or in later life.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements.