The British businessman Alan Michael Sugar, also known as Lord Sugar, claims that gambling industry’s marketing strategies are encouraging the population to gamble. Consequently, he publicly asked for stricter broadcasting regulations on the gambling advertisements in the UK. The businessman went even further by calling for a complete prohibition on these advertisements.
Lord Sugar started his own campaign against gambling problems. He appealed to the government, urging the country’s officials to amend the broadcast law, so that any betting advertisement will be taken off air. He explained that all these marketing strategies influence the vulnerable minds of the compulsive gamblers and appeal them to continue with their bad habits. Moreover, these are televised in prime time, when even kids become targets to the betting advertisements.
The British businessman seems also to have accumulated a grudge against Ray Winstone. Long story short, Mr. Winstone has become the main promoter for bet365 in a TV ad, at the end of which he says “gamble responsibly”. Lord Sugar explained that namely these hypocritical words vexed him so much. According to the businessman, such words are not only inefficient, but also inadequate. He made it clear that he does not blame Mr. Winstone for these words, as he was supposed to pronounce them. The gambling ads opponent wants even companies such as Facebook and Google to stop allowing such betting promotions on their websites.
Lord Sugar told the House of Lords that words such as “gamble responsible” will not fight the problem, referring to them as “absolutely pathetic”. To underline how useless such warnings are, Lord Sugar compared them with the warnings placed on alcohol and cigarettes. He backed up his stance, explaining that the regulators should be harsher on the broadcast programmings, especially in the pre-watershed, which should feature only programs appropriate for families and kids.
The Responsible Gambling Concept in the UK
Responsible gambling has become a primary concern in all the countries with regulated gambling market. At this point many people are, most probably, ready to blame the officials, who allowed the gambling industry to enter their borders, but here it is worth to mention that the problem is even worse in countries with too harsh restrictions, as they have not even the slightest idea of the real dimension of the problem. It is yet to become clear if the UK’s authorities will take Lord Sugar’s words into account and slap the marketing companies on the wrist, but one thing the government should definitely pay attention to – the time, in which such betting promotions are broadcast. Under the British legal framework, gaming operators and bookmakers are not allowed to target minors in any way.