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National Strategic Assessment 2020

This report sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public


The Gambling Act 2005 permits licensed gambling businesses to advertise subject to reasonable consistency with the licensing objectives and a range of legal and regulatory controls. Powers to regulate gambling advertising are shared between the Secretary of State, Ofcom, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and us.

The UK Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and enforced by the ASA, are designed to ensure that marketing communications for gambling products are socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons under 18 and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by advertising that features or promotes gambling. Gambling advertising must not be targeted at under 18s or be of particular appeal to them. We work very closely with the ASA and if a gambling business is found to be in serious or repeated breach of the rules, we can act.

Ipsos MORI research commissioned by GambleAware in response to our research priorities, found that there has been a clear increase in the volume of, and spend on, gambling advertising in recent years. Lotteries and bookmakers were the top spenders across all types of media. This matches YouGov data that tracks the public’s awareness of advertising which consistently finds Lotteries (both National Lottery and Society Lotteries) to be the advertised products most recalled.

Data shows between 18-21% of the public report awareness of Lottery advertising versus between 4-5% who report being aware of non-Lottery gambling advertising.

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