BGC, the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council, has announced the implementation of a new set of measures in order to prevent underage audiences from being exposed to online gambling advertisements. In addition to the 6th edition of the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, new rules will require BGC’s members to ensure that all their sponsored (paid) social media ads will be targeting consumers aged 25 or over, unless the respective website is able to prove that its list is actually targeted at over 18’s. Moreover, operators will have to make sure that all gambling ads listed on search engines have clearly marked content for over 18’s and feature a 'safer gambling' message too. Accordingly, such ads on YouTube will only be visible to age-verified adult users.
Michael Dugher, BGC’s chief executive had a few things to say: “BGC members have a zero-tolerance attitude to under-18s betting and from requirements for safer gambling messages to restrictions on YouTube advertising, this new code shows how seriously the BGC, who represent regulated betting but not the National Lottery, take our responsibilities. At the same time, we urge the government to work with us to crack down on black market operators who have no interest in safer gambling or protecting their customers and do not work to the same responsible standards as BGC members. The Review of the Gambling Act will also provide further opportunities to improve standards and we look forward to working with the Government on this.”.
The new set of measures comes shortly after the BGC, always in close cooperation with the UKGC, praised the impact that the so-called ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban has had in the UK. A ban on gambling-related ads during broadcasted sporting events that, as stated, has helped reduce the number of such ads seen by children by a massive 97%.