Calls to curb betting adverts to cut risk to young people

Betting advertising needs tighter restrictions to cut the risk young people developing gambling problems as they grow older, councils say.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the government to consider curbing the "huge rise" as latest industry figures suggest almost one in 10 children aged between 11 and 15 are now following gambling companies on social media.

The LGA said it was concerned that the volume of gambling advertising, including 'live bet' TV adverts during matches, was undermining the government's objective of socially responsible growth in the sector.

The LGA also urged maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) be reduced from £100 to £2 in line with other gaming machines allowed elsewhere on high streets.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA's safer and stronger communities board, said: "Gambling advertising on television has rocketed since the Gambling Act came into force in 2007, which is a major concern for councils who are aware of the personal harm that problem gambling can cause.

"While the Gambling Act was intended to position gambling as an acceptable leisure activity, we are concerned that the volume of gambling advertising goes beyond what can be deemed the right balance between socially responsible growth and protecting individuals and communities."