Women being snared into gambling with daytime TV ads, say campaigners

Women are being drawn in to gambling addiction by a flood of adverts on daytime TV, MPs and campaigners warned yesterday.

They claimed bookmakers are using ‘predatory’ adverts to entice stay-at-home mothers, part-time workers and the unemployed to gamble.

Yesterday Foxy Bingo boasted to its investors that its customers’ losses had jumped 50 per cent in the first six months of this year compared to last year.

The figures helped parent company Entain, which also owns Ladbrokes and Coral, to quadruple its profits to £91million. 

They claimed bookmakers are using ‘predatory’ adverts to entice stay-at-home mothers, part-time workers and the unemployed to gamble [File photo]

In a statement for investors, it credited its TV campaign as helping to drive the success.

Jackpotjoy Bingo is the sponsor of ITV’s afternoon panel show Loose Women, while Gala Bingo sponsors afternoon quiz show The Chase.

Bingo has been labelled a ‘gateway’ to more serious forms of gambling and bookmakers have been accused of cross-selling higher-risk slot games, where players can lose hundreds of pounds per minute. 

The Daily Mail has campaigned against predatory gambling firms but while bookmakers have reduced the number of adverts around live sport, there are still numerous adverts on daytime radio and TV.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling, said: ‘Vulnerable women are watching these programmes with predatory advertising that promises them companionship.

Really they are taking advantage of women.’

The Daily Mail has campaigned against predatory gambling firms but while bookmakers have reduced the number of adverts around live sport, Slot88 there are still numerous adverts on daytime radio and TV [File photo]

A senior female Tory MP, who asked not to be named, added: ‘Bingo is absolutely the gateway to women getting into online gambling.’ Ministers are considering tighter rules on advertising on TV and social media as part of the review into the 2005 Gambling Act.

Earlier this year the NHS’s top gambling expert, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, told MPs it was ‘the norm’ to see suicidal women addicted to betting in her clinic.

A Gambling Commission survey found that 20.6 per cent of women had gambled online in the last four weeks, up from 13.5 per cent in 2016.

The Betting and Gaming Council, which represents the industry, said: ‘The Government states the rate of problem gambling is 0.5 per cent and has been stable for the last 20 years.

For women, a recent Gambling Commission report says the rate is 0.1 per cent.’

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