Shahriar’s Law: Da Do Run Ron, Icons Banned from Promoting Gambling

In a move designed to have maximum impact on the eve of the world’s biggest sporting tournament, licensed gambling operators in the UK will be banned from using iconic sports stars and social media influencers to promote their marketing campaigns.

The advertising boom has been lowered by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), who have just published the tough new rules “to curb the appeal of gambling adverts” with audiences aged under 18-years-old.

The new regulations come into force on October 1, just a month before the start of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the United Arab Emirates — when we can expect a veritable tsunami of gambling-related advertising to hit our screens.

But this time around our TV and mobile devices won’t be graced by the likes of Portugal’s and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo; former, and present, high-profile managers, such as José Mourinho and Harry Redknapp; ex-England marksman Michael Owen, et cetera, and a host of lesser online boosters and celebrities.

CAP, the controller of UK advertising across traditional and digital formats, believes that a “step change” is needed to ensure that betting propaganda does not have “a strong appeal to children or young persons”.

Operators will no longer be allowed to use football or other sporting personalities to promote betting, asserted CAP.

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

These new advertising rules follow in the wake of a special report by the GambleAware charity called “Final Synthesis: The Impact of Gambling Marketing and Advertising on Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults”.

The report argues, forcibly, that strong safeguards are needed to protect under-18s from gambling-related harms.

In a statement, CAP said: “Our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads. We expect advertisers to take a cautious approach when advertising gambling products.

“References to imagery or culture that specifically appeals to under-18s would be a problem under our new rules and could lead to ads being banned.”

“Likewise, using popular figures such as topflight footballers or reality stars would also be likely to be an issue.

“Advertisers can always get in touch with our Copy Advice team about their campaigns, for free advice about whether an ad might break our rules.”