Sadiq Khan Vows to Abolish Gambling Advertising in the London Tube

Current and running mayor of London Sadiq Khan came out with a manifesto for banning all gambling advertising in the London Tube.

Currently, all eyes in London are on the upcoming mayoral elections. Even more on current and running mayor Sadiq Khan who says that he plans to ban gambling advertising in London Tube, UK. The Labor Party candidate, who serves as the mayor of London since 2016, is known in the public for already banning any body-shaming advertising. In addition to also banning any advertisement on foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

The mayor said that the ultimate goal is to preserve the health of the citizens of London. And we can guess that similar policies are behind the latest manifesto, announcing the ban of advertisements in the London Metro

Should Mr. Sadiq Khan wins the upcoming elections in May 2021, it is highly likely that the manifesto will turn into legislation. Given all previous experiences with similar matters. More specifically if we take into account the ‘crackdown’ on gambling advertisements in the UK in past years. One example. In October of 2020 the Committee of Advertising Practice, together with the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice came out with a similar proposal. Gambling advertising should not have a ‘strong appeal’ to any persons under 18. Additionally, all irresponsible gambling advertising(money-back offers) should be drastically reduced.

Moreover, a study in London showed a 97% drop in children seeing gambling advertisements in general. Naturally, the Betting and Gaming Council recognized and approved that this was due to the previous ‘whistle to whistle’ ban on all gambling advertisements. So, we should take into account what Mr. Khan’s Labor Party pledged in 2019, prior to the General Election. That all gambling advertising in any sport must be radically reduced.

Moreover, the UK Gambling Commission already plans a review of the 2005 Gambling Act. The goal is to rewrite it, in order for a total ban on any gambling advertising in football altogether. This only builds the case of the mayor. Hence it should not come as a surprise the mayor’s following statement, concerning the manifesto:

I’ve already banned body-shaming advertisements and advertisements for foods high in fat, salt and sugar on the TfL network because of their impact on the health of Londoners. Given the devastating way gambling addiction can destroy lives and families, I’ll instruct TfL to bring forward plans to extend the ban to harmful gambling advertisements on the network.

Sadiq Khan – Mayor of London

However, any potential restrictions may eventually backfire, as several experts warn. More specifically, if we take into account how much the city makes from gambling. About a whopping 40% of the total advertising revenue in London for TfL comes from advertising income. And that is serious money. That is why certain politicians even close to Mr. Khan and members of the Labor Party, are trying to weigh in and change the mayor’s mind.

Furthermore, various public figures and advocacy groups are all reserved when it comes to the manifesto as well. Given how much the gambling industry is already part of the total revenue and income not just of individuals and businesses, but for entire cities as well.

Especially with the popularity that the mayor enjoys among the citizens of London. And not only that. PM Boris Johnson is also a supporter of the idea. With that kind of lobby, it looks even more favourable. In addition, Labor MP Carolyn Harris has also praised the manifesto, and called it ‘common sense. All we can do is wait for the mayoral elections to take place.

Only then we will see how the fate of the gambling advertisements on the Tube unfolds. Will Sadiq Khan, who plans to ban gambling advertising stay true to his word? If so, we wait to see what kind of replacement will the city find as a substitute for the lucrative gambling money.

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