Footballers and celebrities to be banned from gambling adverts under new rules

Footballers and celebrities will no longer be allowed to appear on gambling and betting adverts under new rules introduced by the UK’s advertising regulator.

The changes have been introduced by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to protect under-18s and other vulnerable groups.

The new rules also include a ban on showing teams’ kits and stadiums in adverts and in video game content.

The changes come into effect on 1 October and will be in place for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, usually a time when betting companies make a huge marketing push.

The new rules state that sportspeople, celebrities and social media influencers who are “likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture” will be banned from gambling and lottery adverts.

Jack Wilshire recently appeared in a Paddy Power advert

CAP said this includes footballers with a large under-18 following on social media.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, says: “The days of gambling ads featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered.

“By ending these practices, our new rules 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.”

Currently, a number of footballing personalities feature in betting adverts.

Former Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has featured in Paddy Power adverts, as has former Arsenal player Jack Wilshire.

Former Love Island contestant Chris Hughes holds an ambassadorial role for Coral Racing.

Last year, former England and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson opened up about his gambling addiction in a documentary, saying adverts on TV are a “major trigger”.

He has been campaigning for betting laws to be changed and recently told BBC Sport that it “sickens” him to see former players and managers in gambling adverts.

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