The Gambling Commission is bidding for additional powers which would give it the teeth it needs to fine bookmakers who have been found guilty of breaching advertising regulations.
In this way the commission hopes to head off future malpractice by forcing gambling firms to think twice before playing fast and loose with the rules.
The climate around gambling issues is particularly conducive to The Gambling Commission’s cause at present, amid a spotlight being shone on an increasing number of football teams who have got into bed with the gambling industry by accepting some level of sponsorship affiliation.
Under wide-ranging new powers, the commission is also asking for the right to tighten rules relating to the dissemination of ‘spam’ marketing by email or text, replacing lax rules at present which limit the Advertising Standards Authority to merely reprimanding gambling firms which breach the rules.
Sarah Gardner, executive director for the Gambling Commission, said: “We are proposing these changes because of the risk of consumer harm, concern about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling and concerns about advertising.
“We’re very keen to hear the views of all those with an interest in the gambling industry.”
The ASA has previously cracked down on betting sites which target children via 'cartoons and colours'.