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Top gambling firms agree ad ban

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Britain's top gambling companies have agreed to a so-called "whistle to whistle" ban on television advertising.

Sports news correspondent Richard Conway explains that the ban will start before the game - possibly 15 minutes before - continue through the game, including half time, and for a period after the game.

There has been growing political pressure to crackdown on gambling adverts, to help prevent customers descending into problem gambling.

"By acting now they will prevent perhaps sterner action coming towards them," Richard said.

The ban could come into force in early 2019.

'Sit up and listen' gambling firms told

Casumo, whose online games include Jammin' Jars, has been fined £5.85m

Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur says he hopes that today's action against gaming firms and individuals "will make all online casino operators sit up and pay attention".

He said: "Our investigations found that a large number of operators and their senior management were not meeting their obligations.

“It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place. Everyone in a gambling business must understand its policies and procedures and take responsibility for properly applying them.

He added: “Anyone in a position of authority needs to be aware that we will not only act against businesses when we take regulatory action - we will also hold individuals to account where they are responsible for an operator’s failings.”

Online gambling firms warned 'there will be consequences'

Online gambling
Getty Images

Commenting on the action taken by the Gambling Commission, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Wright, said: "Any online operator that thinks it can ignore its duty to protect players should take note today - there will be consequences. Protecting vulnerable consumers is our prime concern, and it must be the priority for gambling operators too.

“There are robust requirements to safeguard players and prevent money-laundering which all businesses must adhere to if they wish to operate in the British market."

Online gambling firms fined £14m

Daub Alderney
Daub Alderney
Daub Alderney is one of the online gaming firms to be fined

The Gambling Commission has fined three online gaming companies a combined £14m for failing to implement "effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling-related harm".

Daub Alderney has been fined £7.1m, Casumo must pay £5.85m and Videoslots will hand over £1m "in lieu of a financial penalty".

It said that another company, CZ Holdings, will no longer provide gambling services to consumers in the UK "as it surrendered its licence after a licence review had been commenced".

The Gambling Commission also said it had taken action "against the individuals responsible for the failings".

"People just feel so alone."

Paul from The Providence Projects talks to Sasha Twining about gambling addiction.
Loot box spending 'creates problem gamblers'
'Loot-box' spending in video games can be linked to problem gambling, a study finds.

Loot boxes 'create problem gamblers'

Loot box spending 'creates problem gamblers'
'Loot-box' spending in video games creates problem gamblers, a study finds.