The government is planning to expand a review of the gambling sector to include a major crackdown on betting industry advertising on daytime TV, according to reports.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) is looking to extend a review of controversial fixed-odds betting terminals to gambling ads in a bid to curb problem betting and children's exposure to the industry, The Times reported today.
"As it stands, betting sites can basically be advertising to children all weekend," a source from DCMS told The Times.
The Gambling Commission, the UK's regulatory body for the industry, estimates the number of people with severe problem gambling has increased from 0.4 per cent to 0.7 per cent of the population in the last three years.
This equates to around 336,000 people. Among young people, the proportion has tripled to 1.5 per cent, which has mostly put down to the rise of "omnichannel" gambling that has boomed online and on mobile apps over the last few years.
Bookmakers and gambling firms are allowed to advertise before 9pm if for bingo or during any TV advert breaks during live sports.
A spokesman for DCMS said: "We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing gambling controls and will take further action if necessary."
Limits have also been placed on the number of fixed-odds betting terminals allowed per shop, now a maximum of four, as well as a 25 per cent tax.