BGC adopts digital emphasis in strengthening advertising rules

The Betting and Gaming Council has introduced a fresh range of measures that are designed to further shield under-18s from seeing industry digital media adverts. 

Forming part of the Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, fresh ad rules will look to build on a current commitment that aims to ensure that 20 per cent of TV, radio and digital advertising is devoted to safer gambling messaging. 

Previous action undertaken by BGC members concerns making sure that online gambling marketing is only seen by those legally allowed to gamble, including targeting advertisements to people aged over 25.

The body noted that members are only allowed to target over 18s if they can verify the accuracy of their advertising targeting. There is also a ban on football clubs from using social media platforms to post direct gambling marketing.

Under the new guidelines that will form part of the code, which will enter into force on December 1, 2023, the 25+ rule will be extended to all digital media platforms who provide an appropriate age filter.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “As the standards body for the regulated sector, we are committed to continuing to drive up standards and make big changes across the betting and gaming industry. Helping protect young people is our number one priority.  

“BGC members have already taken significant steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences. With more help from the platforms, we can do even more.”

Other measures previously introduced include a whistle to whistle ban on TV gambling adverts, cooling off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks and massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment. 

Furthermore, a call has also been made for social media platforms to allow the public to opt-out from receiving betting and gaming advertising online, with DCMS Minister Stuart Andrew MP to convene a meeting to help drive further change.

“Safer gambling messaging is also absolutely crucial,” Dugher added. “It is about ensuring that customers use safer gambling tools like setting deposits limits and time outs, but also it is about the vitally important work of signposting the help that is out there to help the minority of gamblers who might be struggling with their betting and gaming.  

”The new edition of the IGRG Code is further evidence of our determination to continue to ensure that standards are rising and are as high as they can possibly be”.