Celebrities & Footballers Banned From Gambling Ads

Published On 5th April 2022

The rules on the advertisment of gambling and betting products is constantly evolving. Over the years we've seen limits on when ads can be shown, the nature of the ads and rules on highlighting terms and conditions of any offers. As of 1st October 2022 there will be more conditions implemented as outlined by a new directive from The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). From that date footballers and celebrities will no longer be allowed to appear in gambling and betting adverts. Furthermore teams' kits and stadiums will also not be allowed to be shown.

Tough New Rules

According to a press release from CAP (5th April 2022), these new rules "will significantly impact gambling advertisers looking to promote their brands using prominent sports people and celebrities as well as individuals like social media influencers, who are of strong appeal to those under-18". The new rule now states that gambling and lottery ads must not have "strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture". Shahriar Coupal of CAP explained that the changes will "invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting".

Celebs Lose Their Side Hustles

This is a significant rule change by CAP and one that will have an impact on how gambling brands advertise themselves. In our view Skybet will be hit hardest simply because they always use their presenters in the adverts. For example Jeff Stelling is usually rolled out to promote football betting as have the likes of Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness. Elsewhere Paddy Power will have to curtail their use of footballers such as Peter Crouch and Jack Wilshere as they've used in the past. Jose Mourinho has also featured in ads for Paddy Power Games but coincidentally it looks like "The Chosen One" is no longer included on content on the website. From a bingo perspective we will never again witness Vic Reeves in a dress for 888 Ladies or Paddy McGuinness as the successor to The Queen Of Bingo.

But What About...

Whilst these changes will get plenty of column inches they do leave quite a few questions unanswered. For example can celebrities do voiceovers for adverts? For example Ray Winstone has been associated with Bet365 for numerous years. Do these rules also account for gambling companies sponsoring popular TV shows? In this respect we immediately think of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here which for the last few years has been sponsored by Tombola Arcade. Whilst the ads/bumpers never include any of the celebs of the show, it's safe to say that IACGMOOH has a strong appeal to children or young persons. In fact you could throw the current sponsorship of Celebrity Juice by MrQ. How does CAP rationale that a TV show full of celebrities can be sponsored by a gambling company? Where does CAP draw the line? Or have they not even considered this particular issue?

Brand Ambassadors

And talking of Celebrity Juice where do these new rules leave brand ambassadors and the use of celebrities as tipsters. 32Red for example feature Keith Lemon on their website, Paddy McGuinness can be seen on Jackpotjoy and Skybet have a whole raft of their presenters scattered across their site. Where does it leave the likes of Bingo All Stars? Mind you we're not sure that particular brand is that appealing to young players. Will all these celebrity links need to be dropped or can footballers/celebs on Twitter still announce they're working with 'Random Betting Brand'? We expect these issues will get addressed as the year progresses but one thing is for sure - bingo and betting ads are probably going to get a whole lot more boring. But it'll be intriguing to see how gambling brands get creative with their advertising budgets now they don't have to pay pounds out to to celebs!

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