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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she plans to take steps to (a) regulate and (b) place advertising restrictions on betting operators not licensed in the UK; and if she will make a statement. (86105)

The Advertising Standards Authority is working with the Gambling Commission to draw up new codes for gambling advertising, on which it will begin consulting shortly. The Secretary of State also has reserve powers under the Gambling Act 2005 to make regulations with regard to the form, content, timing and location of gambling advertising. She will not hesitate to use these powers if it becomes clear that self-regulation is not sufficient to protect children and vulnerable people from exploitation. Both the ASA codes and any Secretary of State regulations will apply to all non-broadcast advertising by gambling operators, wherever they are licensed.

Ofcom will continue to set, review and revise standards for broadcast advertising by gambling operators. In doing so Ofcom must consult with the Gambling Commission, and reflect any relevant regulations made by the Secretary of State.

Under the Gambling Act 2005 the Gambling Commission has the power to attach a condition to the licences it issues making provision for how gambling facilities may be advertised or described.

In addition, Section 331 of the Gambling Act prohibits any gambling operator based outside the European Economic Area or Gibraltar from advertising in the UK unless a specific exemption has been made for that jurisdiction under sub-section 331(4).