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BGC response to CMS Committee Report

In response to today’s report by the CMS Select Committee, a spokesperson for the BGC said: “We welcome the publication of the CMS Committee Report and its findings which reject proposals for a blanket ban on advertising, sports sponsorship and consumer promotions, which would harm our best-loved sports like horseracing and football, threaten jobs and drive customers to the growing unsafe, unregulated gambling black market online.

“The Government has previously stated research did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling. Betting advertising and sponsorship must comply with strict guidelines and safer gambling messaging, which promotes safer gambling tools and signposts help to those concerned about their betting, is regularly and prominently displayed.

“BGC agree with the Committee that the Sport Sponsorship Code, which will further drive up standards, should be published without delay.

“We also welcome the Committee’s support for many of the measures we campaigned for including the establishment of a new mandatory Ombudsman for the regulated sector, enhanced spending checks, reforms to modernise land-based casino gambling, and a mandatory levy to help fund research, prevention and treatment for those at risk of harm.

“The Committee are right to call for the Government to ensure that financial checks are “minimally intrusive”, ensuring that they do not unfairly impact on the enjoyment of the millions who bet safely and responsibly.”



  1. BGC members generate £7.1 billion for the economy and raise £4.2 billion in tax every year, and the findings in the report announced today focus on striking a balance between protecting the vulnerable and those at risk of harm with the ability for the vast majority who bet safely to continue to enjoy their leisure pursuit.
  2. The regulated betting and gaming industry provides some of the country’s most popular sports with vital funding, including the English Football League and its clubs, which receives £40m annually.
  3. In 2019, BGC members introduced the whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting commercials during live sport before the 9pm watershed, which led to the number of such ads being seen by children at that time falling by 97 per cent.
  4. BGC members have also already committed 20 per cent of all TV and radio advertising to safer gambling messaging, and this month that commitment has been extended to all digital advertising. We also introduced a ban on football club social media sites being used to directly advertise odds or betting, as well as a requirement for paid ads to be targeted at adults aged over 25 unless social media platforms can prove sites are being viewed by those over the legal age to bet.
  5. BGC members take a zero tolerance approach to betting by children. The most popular forms of betting by children are arcade games like penny pusher and claw grab machines, bets between friends and fruit machines – not with BGC members.
  6. It is also right that the Committee has recommended that Government set a clear timetable for the implementation of the mandatory levy, so that all existing service providers, including vital third-sector providers, have the certainty they need to deliver their services and programmes.
  7. BGC have long said that the Black Market is growing and targeting those most at risk, we agree with the Committee’s recommendation that the Gambling Commission do more to monitor the numbers using these illegal and unsafe sites.
  8. The most recent NHS Health Survey found a problem gambling of 0.4 per cent of adults in England.
  9. The BGC strongly supports the Gambling Review White Paper as a further opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling. We will continue to work with the Government to drive up Standards as we work through the many consultations.
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