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A study by Enders Analysis has found that a ban on TV betting advertising during live sport has dramatically reduced the overall number seen by children.

Under the ban, betting adverts must not be shown on TV from five minutes before a live sporting event begins until five minutes after it ends, prior to the 9pm watershed.

The analysis found that during the whistle to whistle period, the number of betting ads seen by children fell by 97 per cent. Overall, the amount of gambling ads viewed by youngsters is also said to have fallen by 70 per cent for the full duration of live sport programmes.

It was also found that the ban has contributed to a reduction of 1.7 billion in the viewing figures of betting ads during the first five months it was in operation. The number of post-watershed ads is also down by 28 per cent.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, explained: “The BGC was set up to improve standards in our industry. The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment and I’m very pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation.

“In particular, it’s encouraging to see that it has effectively eliminated children’s ability to view betting adverts during live televised sport. I am determined that the BGC will lead a race to the top in terms of industry standards and we want to drive more changes in the future.

“At the same time, we urge the government to work with us to crack down on black market operators who have no interest in safer gambling or protecting their customers and do not work to the same responsible standards as BGC members.

“The review of the Gambling Act will also provide further opportunities to improve standards and we look forward to working with the Government on this.”

Since being set up last year, the BGC has introduced a range of measures aimed at improving standards in the industry.

These include a requirement that at least 20 per cent of TV and radio gambling advertisements are safer gambling messages, cooling off periods on gaming machines, new ID and age verification checks, encouraging deposit limits and boosting funding for research, education and treatment.

The group is also working on a new code of conduct for sponsorship and advertising aimed att further improving standards.