BGC Again Lauds Whistle To Whistle Ad Ban

September 14, 2020

- Grant Whittington

A long-awaited England soccer season is officially ready to get underway, and the country’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is once again singing the praises of the August 2019-passed so-called Whistle to Whistle ban.

The Whistle to Whistle (WTW) ban has its focus on stopping children and under-age individuals from being exposed to any televised betting ads previously aired during live sports broadcasts before the hour of 9 p.m.

The ban will this year play an even more significant role than what it did last year, said the BGC in a recent tweet – this being due to the fact that over the course of the coming months, more English Football League and English Premier League games will be televised and aired than ever before in the history of English soccer. Since most (if not all) of the coming season’s games will be played without spectators physically present in the stands, all big-league games will be televised and broadcast by all of the UK’s most popular television networks.

New Season – New Beginning

BGC chief executive officer Michael Dugher could in a recent social media post be seen clearly hardly able to hide his excitement about the success achieved by said ban so far. Dugher posted on Twitter not only about his love for soccer and excitement over its imminent return, but also about his immense delight experienced over the success of the ban in terms of it having practically 100 per cent eliminated young people’s ability to view betting ads during TV commercial breaks.

Dugher’s excitement over the success of the ban is no overstatement either. This is after all the same ban that has reportedly slashed young children’s exposure to betting ad content by an enormous 97 per cent. What’s more, reports indicate that the ban during its first 5 months in existence, reduced the number of betting ad views by an estimated 1.7 billion – all of which translates to a 78% drop in terms of total viewing exposure.

The Road So Far

Introduced by the BGC on August 1 last year, the controversial WTW ban reportedly strives to improve an array of standards across the entire gambling sector – all standards, in fact, with the lone exception of the UK’s National Lottery.

The ban furthermore helped launch a rule ordering at least 20% of radio as well as television betting ads to contain safer gambling messages. Other rules boosted by the WTW ban include more funds being channelled in the direction of gambling addiction treatment, education regarding gambling and gambling-related addictions, the implementation and carrying out of more thorough age and identification verification checks, lengthier gaming machine cooling-off periods, etc.

In With The New

All of the above have also helped lead to all-new rules coming into effect on October 1, 2020. Upcoming new rules will reportedly mostly aim to lower the number of betting ads younger audiences are exposed to online – and in particular on social media platforms.

Dugher, for one, has been actively urging the UK Government to work more closely alongside the BGC – all in an attempt to ultimately slam down harder on illegal operators looking to lure unsuspecting victims into their non-tax-paying corners.

Not only do black-market operators fail to contribute to the UK’s economy, but said operators are also not typically in the habit of protecting their customers from gambling-related harm. 

Dugher said the organisation and its members hope to make a significant difference to the way black-market operators have been basically free to operate up until now

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