MP calls for gambling ads on TV to be banned before the watershed

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, is to introduce a 10 minute Rule Bill into Parliament seeking to ban all television advertising for gambling before the 9pm watershed. 

In a useful coincidence of timing, it will come before Parliament on 1 April, less than two weeks after the Chancellor announced that duty on fixed-odds betting terminals will be increased to 25%.

Ten minute Rule Bills are one of the ways in which backbench MPs can introduce legislation. There is very little time allowed, but the process is a way of asking for a change in the law on a particular subject, giving MPs a chance to test Parliament's opinion on the case.

Jake Berry has highlighted a number of facts in support of his bill.

·          1.4m gambling ads ran in the UK during 2012, compared with 234,000 in 2007

·         Figures from Gambling helpline GamCare show more than 60% of their calls in the last 12 months were from young people

·         Around 127,500 young people in the UK have a gambling problem

·         Problem gambling is linked to mental health issues, crime, alcohol and substance abuse and poor educational attainment.

Anyone who wants to support the bill can do so here

This is the full text of the MP’s call for support for his proposed ban.

I don't know about you, but it seems that every time I turn on the TV there are adverts for bingo, sports betting, online poker, scratchcards, instant win games or the lottery.
That’s why I wanted to write to you about a 10 Minute Rule Bill I am to bring before Parliament on the 1st of April to try to ban all adverts for gambling on broadcast media before the watershed at 9pm. 
Figures from OfCom show that the number of adverts for gambling rose from 234,000 in 2007 to a staggering 1.4 million in 2012.
Many of these adverts are shown during the daytime and early evening which is normalising gambling for a whole generation of young people. A worrying 15% of 11 to 15-year-olds sampled by MORI in a recent survey had engaged in some form of gambling in the last week.
When I was young I used to read the Beano by torch light under the sheets; unfortunately the reality today is that youngsters could well be playing roulette, blackjack or even poker on their smartphone or tablet. 
Problem gambling has been linked to a number of negative outcomes for young people. It has been linked to poor mental health, criminal activity, alcohol and substance abuse and poor educational attainment.
 My bill already has cross party support from Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems, but the more people I can show that support my Bill the better chance I have of getting it made into law.
I need your help to make this happen, so please show your support for banning adverts for gambling before 9pm. You can do so by signing up as a "co-sponsor" of my bill by clicking on the link below.
 Kind regards
PS  If this is something you feel about as strongly as I do, please help spread the word by forwarding this message to your friends and family.