The Media in Figures: Gambling advertising on TV

THE total number of gambling advertisement spots shown on television has increased from 152,000 seven years ago, to 537,000 five years ago, and to 1.39 million last year – according to research by broadcasting regulators, Ofcom.

And of those adverts last year, adds Ofcom, 532,000 were for bingo (38.3 per cent of gambling adverts), 411,000 were for online casino and poker services (29.6 per cent), 355,000 were for lotteries and scratch cards (25.6 per cent) and 91,000 were for sports betting (6.6 per cent).

Six years ago, there was a change in legislation, liberalising gambling advertising on TV. Gambling on television was permitted following the Gambling Act 2005, which came into force on September 1 2007. Prior to this, the only gambling advertising that was permitted on television was for football pools, bingo premises and the National Lottery.

Other findings from the research include:

* Gambling accounted for 0.7 per cent of all advertising spots across commercial television in 2006, compared to 1.7 per cent in 2008 and 4.1 per cent in 2012; and

* In 2006, there were eight billion ‘impacts’ – the number of times an advert was seen by viewers. This grew to 30.9 billion impacts in 2012, when gambling adverts accounting for 3.2 per cent of all advertising seen by adult viewers.

The Advertising Standards Authority has day-to-day responsibility for enforcing rules about advertising content and scheduling. Ofcom is the back-stop regulator and retains overall responsibility for the advertising rules.

Source: Trends in Advertising Activity (Gambling), Ofcom, November 19 2013.