Gambling firms back ban on betting adverts during live TV sport

(c) Sky News 2018: <a href="">Gambling firms back ban on betting adverts during live TV sport</a>

Betting adverts during live sporting events are set to become largely a thing of the past with the industry poised to approve a voluntary ban.

Britain's biggest gambling companies, including William Hill (Frankfurt: 633847 - news) , Betfred and Paddy Power (EUREX: 27913021.EX - news) , have prospectively agreed to stop advertising on a "whistle-to-whistle" basis.

It would mean any live broadcast which begins before the watershed will not contain betting adverts.

The move comes amid fears advertising during live sport is fuelling an explosion in underage gambling addicts.

The proposals, which have been put forward by the Remote Gambling Association, are yet to be fully agreed.

Sources at two of the betting companies concerned told Sky News they were having legal meetings about the prospective changes on Thursday.

It is expected they will be rubber stamped next week following a meeting of the five major gambling industry associations.

A Gambling Commission spokesperson said: "We understand that options for enhancing the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising are currently under review.

"We would welcome any steps to address public concerns about gambling advertising.

"Last month we brought together senior leaders from over 100 gambling companies to look at how they can work together to make gambling fairer and safer, including considering the approach they take to advertising.

"We look forward to hearing about the industry's plans."

The gambling industry spent £1.5bn on marketing last year, prompting fears about the impact the advertising has on children.

A Gambling Commission report released last month indicated that 55,000 children aged 11 to 16 could be officially categorised as problem gamblers.

The changes could lead to a sustained push to limit betting advertisements in other areas of sport including on shirts and billboards.

Currently 60% of Premier League and Championship football clubs have betting companies as shirt sponsors.