Betting industry welcomes crack down on illegal advertisements

27 July 2023
(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Betting and Gaming Council welcomes new rules announced by Government to crack down on illegal ads online, and better protect young people from harm.
Under new measures unveiled by Department of Culture, Media and Sport Minister Sir John Whittingdale MP, social media platforms and websites will have to take tougher action to stop children seeing age-restricted adverts for some products, including gambling.
Ministers also detailed plans to establish a new task-force to drive better industry standards under Government plans published in response to its Online Advertising Program.
It comes weeks after the Betting and Gaming Council publicly called on social media giants to cooperate with our members on improved safeguards which protect vulnerable groups and prevent children seeing adverts for age-restricted products.
Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Michael Dugher wrote to DCMS earlier this year, urging the Department to put pressure on social media platforms to do more.
Department of Culture, Media and Sport Minister Stuart Andrew MP has since confirmed he will convene a meeting to help drive change.
Betting and Gaming Council members have already taken major steps to ensure only those legally allowed to bet see online marketing for regulated betting and gaming products.
Currently all social media advertisements for Betting and Gaming Council members must be targeted at those aged over 25, unless platforms can provide evidence to verify the accuracy of their targeting to over 18s.
A new Betting and Gaming Council code of conduct was also introduced placing a ban on football clubs using their social media accounts - which are popular with youngsters – posting direct marketing on betting odds and sites.
Betting and Gaming Council members have also led on a push with social media platforms to allow the public to opt-out from receiving betting and gaming advertising online.
“We strongly welcome these new measures set out by Sir John Whittingdale MP which will do more to protect children and young people from seeing age restricted adverts,” said Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council CEO. “It follows our calls on the Government to do more in this area, because we recognized change was needed.
“BGC Members have already taken big steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences. This new guidance from the Government will ensure that the platforms are required to do the same. Our members look forward to continuing to drive higher standards, whilst investing in jobs and businesses in the U.K.”
The Betting and Gaming Council would like to see further cooperation on issues including introducing a marketing suppression tool by all social media companies to prevent all betting and gaming ads being seen by those who have voluntarily excluded on GAMSTOP, the national self-exclusion scheme.
And more work done on ad frequency, to protect vulnerable groups and young people, which Betting and Gaming Council members cannot do without the cooperation of social media companies.
The regulated betting and gaming industry in the U.K. supports 110,000 jobs, generates £4.2bn in tax and contributes £7.1bn to the economy.
Around 22.5 million adults in the U.K. bet each month and the Betting and Gaming Council is encouraged by the latest figures from the Gambling Commission which show the rate of problem gambling among adults in the U.K. is 0.3 per cent.