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Interactive television quizzes as gambling: A cause for concern?

Mark Griffiths


Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of UK television shows in which viewers call into the show using a premium-rate telephone service. At one level it could be argued that in these instances viewers are participating in a lottery. Viewers are typically asked to call a premium-rate telephone line to answer a simple question. Winners are then chosen from all those viewers with the correct answer. It could also be argued that the viewer is staking money (i.e., the cost of the premium-rate telephone call) on the outcome of a future event (i.e., whether they will get the correct answer). This again could be defined as a form of gambling. Interactive television quiz shows share many of the dimensions of interactive television gambling and also raise the same concerns about vulnerable and susceptible populations. These concerns are discussed.


gambling; interactive television; premium-rate telephone lines; lotteries

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