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“The regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to promote safer gambling,” asserts the industry standards body, after voicing hope that child protection will be front and centre of the forthcoming UK government gambling review white paper.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, has stated that its members “are not complacent” on the issue of protecting young people, adding that the industry “is determined to promote safer gambling”.

The group adds that ongoing work being done by the regulated industry to keep young people safe is in “stark contrast” to that of the black market, which it again emphasises “has none of the safer gambling measures offered” by its members.

The BGC pinpoints 15 measures that have been introduced since 2019, including a £10m Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme; rules to curb children viewing gambling advertisements on football clubs’ official social media accounts; whistle to whistle ban; and age gating rules on advertising on social platforms, restricting the ads to those aged 25 and over for most sites. Further measures are said to be planned for the coming months.

The BGC, which is working with social media platforms and search companies to look at ways of allowing individuals to unsubscribe from betting adverts, has also called on others in the regulated betting and gaming industry to follow the lead of betting shops when it comes to independent age verification checks.

“We strongly support the government’s gambling review, which highlighted the protection of children and vulnerable people in a fair and open gambling economy as one of the government’s main priorities. We therefore hope that child protection will be front and center of the forthcoming white paper,” commented Dugher.

“It is clear that the steps BGC members have taken over the previous two years are now providing results.

“Nevertheless, we are not complacent, and protecting young people remains our top priority as we continue raising standards across the regulated industry.

“The BGC and our members will continue to drive further changes to prevent under-18s and other vulnerable groups from being exposed to gambling advertising online.

“The regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to promote safer gambling, which is in stark contrast to the unsafe and growing online black market, which has none of the safeguards which are commonplace among BGC members.”