More than 50% of Brits and Germans support a complete ban on gambling advertising according to separate surveys on the topic.
A representative survey commissioned by Germany’s drug and addiction commissioner Burkhard Blienert revealed that 57% of respondents are in favour of a general advertising ban on gambling.
The survey results, which were made available to German news organisation Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, also indicate that 66% believe that sponsorship by sports betting firms should be banned in football.
Additionally, 70% of those surveyed would like to see further advertising restrictions for sports betting across both television and online.
Blienert stated that advertising for gambling, alcohol, and tobacco is viewed much more critically today than it was 10 or 15 years ago, and that there have been significant changes in the attitudes of the population.
The SPD politician emphasised the need for a serious debate in politics about how much advertising for alcohol, tobacco, and gambling is acceptable and desirable.
Similar findings in the UK
Meanwhile, similar results were found in surveys conducted in the UK.
According to a poll of 1,009 adults conducted by Survation and published in the Guardian, 52% of respondents supported a ban on all gambling advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Moreover, nearly two-thirds wanted new limits on online stakes, while 68% of respondents thought under-18s should not be exposed to gambling advertising.
In addition, 64% supported affordability checks for those wanting to bet more than £100 month, and 60% saw gambling as a danger to family life.
GwL Strategy Director @WillProchaska said:
“This poll displays the strength of public sentiment on gambling advertising.
“If gambling reforms fail to significantly restrict gambling advertising, they’ll be woefully out of step with a public that expects action.”
— Gambling with Lives (@GambleWithLives) April 23, 2023
Premier League clubs recently voted to remove gambling companies from the fronts of football shirts, although campaigners have argued this doesn’t go far enough.
A recent YouGov poll of 1,000 football fans found that 77% supported the ban on gambling front-of-shirt deals.
However, 56% would like to see the ban extended to advertising on pitch-side hoardings, and 42% want betting firms permanently removed from shirt sleeves.
Gambling brands and logos will still be allowed to appear on shirts after the 2026/27 season, but not on the front of shirts.
The majority of fans also believe that gambling companies should be barred from sponsoring leagues or cup competitions. Sky Bet is the current title sponsor of the three-tiered, 72-club English Football League (EFL).
The same poll revealed that fans see gambling sponsors as less appropriate than alcohol or crypto sponsors.
Three-quarters, or 77%, of fans describe betting companies as inappropriate sponsors for football teams.
UK ministers are expected to reject a blanket ban on gambling advertising in a white paper that is rumoured to be published this week.
Advertising opponents are hoping that the white paper will include measures such as a statutory levy on gambling firms to fund research and treatment for addicts, as well as setting maximum stakes for online slots games, according to the Guardian.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has meanwhile pledged an additional £110m of funding over four years for research, education, and treatment services to tackle gambling harm, with a spokesperson endorsing mandatory contributions as long as funds are distributed effectively and independently.
“We strongly support the gambling review, but any changes introduced by the Government must not drive gamblers towards the growing unsafe, unregulated black market online, where billions of pounds are being staked,” the spokesperson said.
Black market concerns
Gambling and sports betting experts in both Germany and the UK have expressed their concerns about the potential consequences of imposing marketing restrictions and advertising bans.
They argue that such measures could inadvertently drive consumers towards unregulated and illegal gambling activities, creating a thriving black market.
Luka Andric, CEO of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), recently highlighted this issue, stating that “advertising is used to guide all those who are already interested in sports betting towards the state-controlled, and thus safe, market”.
The trend to prohibit gambling advertising is gaining momentum across Europe.
The Netherlands and Belgium have also approved bans that will be rolled out over the coming years.
In addition, other countries such as Ireland, Romania and more recently, Estonia, are also considering implementing similar advertising restrictions.