The Betting and Gaming Council has updated its rules on advertising for members, including digital media marketing.
The revised rules are published in the Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising. (IGRG Code) and apply to all BGC Members. The BGC stated that the updated rules are designed to protect children and youth from gambling advertisements.
One of the biggest changes is the extension of the existing commitment that 20 percent (or 20%) advertising will be devoted to messages about safer gambling. It was previously limited to radio and television ads. Now, it will also include digital media advertising.
BGC will also extend its “25+ rule”, to digital media platforms with an age filter. BGC rules previously stated that all paid or sponsored social media ads must target users over 25 years old unless the website could prove it can accurately target older adults.
The new code will be in effect on 1 December of this year. The BGC worked closely with Bacta and the Bingo Association to update the rules.
Michael Dugher, BGC’s chief executive officer, said: “Supporting young people as a priority is our top priority.” BGC members have taken steps to ensure that their members’ ads reach the correct audiences. We can achieve even more with more support from the platforms.
It is absolutely essential to have a safer gambling message. It’s about making sure that customers are using safer gambling tools, such as deposit limits and timeouts. The work is vitally important in pointing out the available help for the small minority of players who may be having problems with their gaming and betting.
The new edition of the IGRG Code is a further demonstration of our commitment to ensure standards continue to rise and are as high in quality as possible.
Efforts to protect children under 18
The BGC has taken a number of steps to ensure that gambling advertisements are not shown to under-18s.
The ban on television gambling advertisements has also been implemented. BGC has also introduced cooling-off periods for gaming machines and deposit limits. It has also introduced new age and ID verification checks and encouraged the use of deposit limits.
BGC also fought for increased funding in research, education and treatments. It also introduced a code for conduct that prohibits football clubs from using their social media account to promote betting directly.
Dugher stated, “As the standards organization for the regulated industry, we are committed in continuing to raise standards and bring about big changes throughout the betting and gambling industry.” “Our number one priority is to help protect the youth.”
BGC defends Dugher after Samaritans’ criticism
The Samaritans , a support charity, , criticised Dugher last week. The Samaritans accused Dugher last week of trying to “twist its words” in an attempt to reduce the link between gambling and suicide.
Dugher referred to Samaritans’ advice that “suicide was complex” in July when giving testimony before the DCMS Select Committee for gambling. When the Committee questioned Dugher about the dangers associated with addictive gambling products, the suicide of Luke Ashton came up.
Samaritans say that suicide is often a result of a variety of factors. In the Ashton death, however, a coroner determined that a “gambling problem” was one of the two causes. Dugher admitted this when he appeared before the Committee.
In response to the Samaritans’ complaint, BGC denied Dugher tried to manipulate guidance and described the accusations as “smear”.