U.K. may ditch online gambling ads

Palace Guards at Buckingham Palace, London

The UK Times newspaper is reporting that plans to allow online gambling advertising on TV and radio in the United Kingdom may be scrapped as Prime Minister Gordon Brown is rethinking the country's stance on gambling.

Currently the broadcast advertising of any sort of gambling is banned in the nation, including online poker room advertising. However, with the new Gambling Act being put into affect, former PM Tony Blair and former culture secretary Tessa Jowell were making plans to end the ban.

New culture secretary James Purnell told the UK Times that opposition to the end of the ban has been expressed by church leaders who believe the advertising will lead to more problem gambling.

Because of this, the decision to end the ban is being reviewed, and Purnell will be reviewing the full range of the new Gambling Act and has the Prime Minister's authority to change the plans.

The Gambling Commission had recently published more information about gambling advertisements and the rules and regulations after consulting with other organizations in the industry.

The rules set up for gambling advertisement on TV and radio were designed to ensure that gambling advertisements are socially responsible.

They rules will protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by advertising that features or promotes gambling.

After consultations, the gambling industry has also taken initiative to set up its own code of practices for advertising as well, according to the U.K. Gambling Commission.

"We welcome the industry code of practice which will supplement the CAP and BCAP codes of practice for the advertising and promotion of gambling," said the Commission in a June 29 release.

"The Commission will monitor the effectiveness of the industry code of practice in delivering socially responsible advertising."

These rules and guidelines were to go into effect in September along with the Gambling Act, but that plan may change now with Purnell looking into the matter and the shift in attitude towards online gambling brought by the new Prime Minister and his people.

Brown was recently in the news as well for expressing doubt over whether the supercasino planned for Manchester is the best option for helping create economic growth in the city.

His attitude is a complete turnaround from Blair's who was all for the supercasino and even supporting the possibility of more supercasinos in the United Kingdom.

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