UK Gambling Commission Issues Apology After Betting Tweet Featured a Child

  • The tweet contained a gif of a child celebrating during a soccer game
  • UKGC tweeted an apology on Monday saying that the inclusion of the gif was an error
  • The offending tweet has now been deleted by the UKGC
  • Strict rules are in place preventing the portrayal of children in any gambling-related ads
"Sorry" post-it on a keyboard
The UKGC has apologized after it issued a betting-related tweet last week that included a gif featuring a child. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Left embarrassed

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has apologized after it tweeted a gif that featured child. The tweet was posted last Friday in advance of England’s World Cup match against France.

a gif of a child celebrating during a soccer game

With the ongoing World Cup garnering a lot of attention from bettors, the UKGC was urging people to only use sports betting sites that hold a UKGC license. A link in the tweet directed people to the regulator’s register of licensed sportsbook operators, alongside a gif of a child celebrating during a soccer game.

Reactive measures taken

Numerous anti-gambling advocates expressed their concerns following the posting of the tweet. The UKGC tweeted an apology on Monday, saying that the use of the gif featuring a child was an error and apologized to anyone who might have been offended.

The offending tweet has been deleted. The UKGC has since tweeted the warning once more to people to only use licensed platforms when betting on the World Cup. It has replaced the gif with a short UKGC video and an animation of someone lifting the World Cup trophy.

Protecting at-risk people

The UKGC is responsible for maintaining a responsible, healthy gambling environment in the region. This includes protecting at-risk people, such as problem gamblers and underage people. The current minimum age for someone to gamble legally in the UK is 18 years old.

not allowing ads that showcase children in any form

Operators face strict regulations regarding customer age verification, as well as ensuring that advertisements are not enticing to underage people. Numerous ad restrictions have gone into effect in recent years, including not allowing ads that showcase children in any form.

Certain sportsbook operators have gotten into hot water for falling foul of such restrictions. In September, Betway received a £400,000 ($492,483) fine from the UKGC after the brand was promoted on the children’s section of West Ham United FC’s website.