Strictly’s John Whaite slams celeb endorsement deals as gambling ads are banned

Strictly Come Dancing star John Whaite spoke to on the Steph’s Packed Lunch panel and slammed betting companies and called for a complete ban on advertising.

Steph McGovern began the show and told viewers that celebrities will no longer be used to promote betting companies.

The new rules are to “try and stop the appeal to young people” and they will come “into force ahead of this year’s World Cup”.

She then turned to her guests and asked for their opinion, beginning with vicar Kate Bottley.

Kate said that she has to deal with a lot of people who are experiencing addiction and admitted that it “tears families apart”.

She noted: “No-one wakes up in the morning addicted to something, it’s a very gradual slow process. Sometimes you barely notice before it’s a problem.”

She then said that sports stars and celebrities have a “role in the community and to young people”.

The 47-year-old also agreed that it was a “good thing” to ban people in the limelight from advertising gambling, but that it doesn’t address “the root of the problem”.

Kate called for a “bigger conversation on addiction in communities” and that we need to ask “why these things happen”.

Steph also told viewers that Kate had to perform a recent funeral for someone that had a gambling addiction and she said that betting is “easy” nowadays, as apps can be accessed “on your phone, all the time”.

John Whaite then gave his thoughts: “In some communities it’s almost become a cultural thing, what people in that community do, as that’s all there is. I don’t think these adverts go far enough. I don’t think there should just be a ban on celebrities endorsing online betting, there should be a ban on adverts generally.”

He said that it can be easy for people who are “strapped for cash” to think they can make some quick money through betting, which he said “prays on people’s sensitivities”.

Steph then agreed that someone may think they can “turn their lives around” by winning money and said that she has previously spoken to people who have that mindset.

Dane Baptiste then replied: “For some people, it’s the rush of the gambling, especially because right now we’re dealing with massive increases in the cost of living.”

He said that people may be drawn in by the fact that they can “acquire a large sum of cash, relatively easily” without having to get another job or through illegal means, which makes gambling “seem like an attractive proposition”.

Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4

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