Mayor Khan told to implement TfL gambling ad-ban

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has been urged to fulfill his 2021 manifesto commitment and introduce a ban on all forms of gambling advertisements across the Transport for London (TfL) network.

The demand has been made by the London Assembly Health Committee (LAHC), which has highlighted the need for Londoners to understand the severity of the problem gambling issue in the capital.

The Health Committee’s motivation stems from concerns that “London’s rate of ‘problem gambling’ is almost double the average seen across Britain.”

The demand arises from a two-part investigation conducted by the LAHC, taking feedback from individuals with lived experience of gambling harms, key public health figures, and charities.

As a result, the LAHC has determined that “a correlation exists between exposure to gambling advertising and increased gambling participation, particularly among young people and those with gambling issues.”

However, the report cited recognised the need for more research into the effects of gambling advertising on the risk of harm, as highlighted by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Despite limitations in evidence and the lack of a clear definition of ‘harmful gambling advertising,’ the LAHC has argued for a ban on all gambling adverts on the TfL network due to the challenges in distinguishing between harmful and non-harmful content.

Of significance, the London Mayor’s office has been notified of substantial public support for a total ban on gambling advertisements on the TfL network.

LAHC Chair, Dr Onkar Sahota AM, stated: “The Committee does not view the current evidence base as a prohibiting factor in introducing advertising restrictions.

“The Mayor’s 2021 manifesto pledged to ban ‘harmful gambling advertisements’ across the TfL network. The Committee understands that this has not been implemented, as there is no definitive definition of harmful gambling, with a definition from the Government pending. Nevertheless, the Committee believes the Mayor should advance proposals for such a ban.”