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MPs want total ban on TV gambling adverts to stop epidemic destroying lives

1st February, 23:41

EXCLUSIVE: MPs believe only a total removal of adverts will stop a growing gambling epidemic as more than 430,000 adults are currently feared to have an addiction

MPs want a total ban on TV gambling adverts.

They say bookies' voluntary acceptance of a ban during live sports and pre-9pm is not enough.

And they believe that only ­removing ads altogether - ­including an ­explosion of them online - will stop a growing ­gambling epidemic.

MPs from all parties are backing a Commons ­motion urging the Government to act.

The move, led by ­ex-Tory minister Mike Penning, comes as more than 430,000 adults are feared to have a gambling addiction, which can destroy lives and families.

Latest figures show betting firms' online ads spending has risen 56 per cent in the past five years to an estimated £747million, compared to £234million on TV.

And web gamblers spend almost four times more than TV punters. The MPs' Early Day motion demands a ban on "gambling ­adverts on TV and the internet ­outright".

The National Lottery and charities would be exempt. The motion is backed by Tories plus Welsh and Scots nationalists with Labour expected to join next week.

The Government, which is ­reviewing gambling, is also urged to crack down on bet-to-view programmes and incentives like free bets and match tickets.

England and Arsenal ­legend Tony Adams has called on football to cut ties with gambling firms such as Bet365, whose ads are fronted by actor Ray Winstone.

Earlier this month, the Sunday People told how 28-year-old Philip Tomlinson took his own life in Eccles, Gtr Manchester, after losing thousands on football bets. More than £14billion was lost last year on sports betting.

Mr Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, said: "These adverts are part of a serious problem."

Source