The UK’s advertising regulator has banned football players and celebrities from appearing in gambling and betting ads under new rules.
According to Sky News, the changes were made by the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) to protect children under 18 and other vulnerable groups.
The new rules also include a ban on displaying teams’ kits and stadiums in advertisements and in video game content.
The changes come into effect on 1 October and will be effective for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, usually the time when bookmakers make a huge marketing push.
The new rules state that athletes, celebrities, and social media influencers who are likely to be highly attractive to children or youth, particularly through reflection or association with youth culture, will be barred from advertisements for gambling and lotteries.
This includes football players under the age of 18, CAP said.
“The days of gambling advertisements featuring sports stars, video game images and other content that are highly attractive to those under the age of 18 have been numbered,” says Shahryar Kopal, Director of CAP.
It is noteworthy that Jose Mourinho, the former manager of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, appeared in betting ads, and so did former Arsenal player Jack Wilshire.
Last year, former England and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson spoke about his addiction to gambling in a documentary, saying that advertisements on TV were a “main motivator”.