New code to protect minors
The UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has released “tough new measures” to help protect underage individuals from exposure to gambling ads online. The publication of the Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising is the council’s latest move to improve standards in the country’s gaming and betting sectors.
The association tweeted out the news on August 27:
The newly announced measures require BGC members to make sure that all of their paid for or sponsored social media ads are targeting people who are at least 25 years old. The only exception is if the given website is able to show that it can precisely target those who are at least 18 years old.
precisely target those who are at least 18
Another new requirement from the industry body is that all gambling ads that show up on search engines need to have a clear label that they are targeting people aged 18 or older. They also need to contain safe gambling messages.
In order to view a gambling ad on YouTube, a user must have an age-verified account. BGC members will also need to frequently post responsible gambling messages on Twitter.
The new code comes into effect on October 1, 2020.
A zero-tolerance attitude
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher spoke about the industry code, saying: “The latest edition is further evidence of our determination to continue to ensure that standards are rising and are as high as they can possibly be.” He added that the council has a zero-tolerance attitude to underage gambling, and that the new code reflects how seriously the association takes its responsibilities.
battle black-market operators
Dugher called on the UK government to continue working with the BGC to battle black-market operators who are not protective of their customers, do not promote safer gambling, and are not meeting the same standards of responsible practices as BGC members.
Other recent measures
The UK has recently implemented other measures to help promote responsible gambling. These include a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads being shown on television during live sporting events, plus new ID and age verification checks.
UK authorities have significantly increased the amount of funding going towards gambling education, research, and treatment. There is also a rule in place that 20% of all radio and television ads from gambling operators have to comprise a safer gambling message.