Gambling Ads Cut to One per Break by Sky TV

Sky TV are the first company to bring into action a limit to the number of gambling ads on our screens. From August 2020, there will be a limit to one gambling ad per break across all TV channels that they own, including every Sky Sports channel. This is a big move by Sky, but while it will cut down the number of advertisements we see, it could create a false economy in terms of the cost of advertising space on Sky, pushing prices up for bookmakers.

The news comes on the back of responsible gambling week, a period of seven days designed to promote responsible gambling and help protect those who may be vulnerable. Sky made the announcement during that week, although the actual limit will not come into play until the start of the Premier League season in the summer of 2020.

The move will have an impact on our bookmakers, and the online latest betting sites will have to find other ways to promote their products to consumers other than through Sky TV. Typically at the moment, you will see up to four gambling ads during a commercial break, with in-play betting odds featuring heavily during half-time intervals of sports like football and rugby.

Gambling advertisements already have a watershed in place, they can only be shown during live sporting events or after 9 pm during non-sporting events. It has been mentioned by the Labour party that they would push for a full ban on gambling ads should they become elected, with Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson playing a big part in that.

On the matter he has said, in-game ads and ads during breaks in live sport can lead to dangerous betting behaviour or relapses for those who are trying to beat an addiction. This is why Labour remains committed to a full whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling adverts before, during and after live sports events.

One important thing to note about this move from Sky is that it affects all forms of gambling, not just sports betting, despite it coming into play in line with the new football season. This means that other forms of gambling such as casinos, poker and bingo websites will all have to adhere to the same rules as those advertising sports betting.

This means we are a lot less likely to see advertisements for these services during live sporting events, as those offering sports betting odds will more than likely be the ones who are prepared to spend the most amount of money and win the advertising battle.

Whether other companies follow the lead from Sky or not remains to be seen, but they have certainly set a precedent with this announcement. They are likely to lose out revenue from selling advertisements to gambling companies, and this is likely to hit their new channel Sky Sports Racing when it launches in January, a channel dedicated to showing live horse racing from the UK.

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