HC Deb 02 November 1995 vol 265 cc386-7W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what restrictions on the commercial promotion of gambling are currently in place; and what have been the changes in the last five years. [40750]

Mr. Kirkhope

Section 42 of the Gaming Act 1968 prohibits, with certain exceptions, advertisements which inform the public of premises on which gaming takes place or which invites them to participate in such gaming. The main exceptions are:

  • advertisements relating to incidental activities at non-commercial entertainments; to amusement centres and arcades; and to travelling showman's pleasure fairs;
  • print advertisements relating to bingo which do not contain inducements;
  • signs displayed on bingo premises giving information on prizes;
  • signs outside casinos indicating that gaming takes place on premises.

Section 10 of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 provides a general prohibition on advertisements relating to particular betting shops. There are exceptions for advertisements which are published inside betting shops and those which can be seen from outside the premises, provided that they comply with certain restrictions which are prescribed in regulations.

The Broadcasting Act 1990 makes the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority responsible for drawing up and enforcing codes governing standards and practice for advertising and programme sponsorship on television and radio respectively. There is a general prohibition on advertising of betting and gaming in the advertising codes. This prohibition does not apply to advertisements relating to lotteries permitted under National Lottery etc. Act 1993 and the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, or the football pools. In addition, the ITC and Radio Authority programme sponsorship codes prohibit betting and gaming companies from sponsoring television and radio programmes about certain activities related to the same form of betting or gaming as that in which the company deals.

Changes introduced in the last five years include:

  • the Bingo Act 1992, which introduced a partial relaxation of restrictions on print advertising of bingo;
  • the Licensed Betting Offices (Amendment) Regulations 1995, which gave betting shops greater freedom to advertise in their windows;
  • changes to the ITC and Radio Authority advertising codes in December 1993 and April this year, respectively, to allow broadcast advertising of the national lottery;
  • changes to the ITC and Radio Authority programme sponsorship codes in January and December 1994, respectively, to allow betting and gaming companies to sponsor certain types of programmes;
  • changes, in April this year, to the ITC and Radio Authority advertising codes to allow broadcast advertising of the football pools.