UK’s NHS Mental Health Director in Warning to Betting Firms
by Glenn Baird - June 17, 2020
The director for Mental Health in the UK’s NHS has asked betting companies to avoid the use of “reckless” advertising as the Premier League resumes today.
Claire Murdoch has warned that a swell of gambling advertising could have catastrophic implications for those struggling with problem gambling.
“The return of football will be a moment of excitement for millions but it must not be an excuse for gambling firms to open the floodgates of addiction,” Murdoch said.
“Plenty of people safely enjoy a flutter, but in the NHS we’re increasingly seeing people in need of specialist help after they fall victim to excessive and aggressive marketing by betting companies.
“The NHS is stepping up to the plate to offer specialist treatment, but with my colleagues having spent this year focused on protecting people from a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, the last thing NHS staff and patients need is for avoidable harm to be caused by reckless advertising and behaviour from the gambling industry as normal life begins to resume.
“What we don’t want to see over the next 48 hours is firms kicking off more aggressive advertising campaigns to make up for lost time.”
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council has responded by stating that operators in the UK will not advertising during football matches, and that at least 20% of advertising on TV and radio will be used to promote safer gambling.
“Rather than trying to once again grab alarmist headlines with her deliberately incendiary media interventions, Claire should take up our offer, made to her back in January, to speak with the industry about her concerns,” Dugher said.