BGC Unveils New Advertising Code of Conduct to Protect Youngsters

Published September 3, 2020 by Jeff O

BGC Unveils New Advertising Code of Conduct to Protect Youngsters

The Betting and Gaming Council members to adopt new advertising measures for the protection of underage consumers.

In an effort to crack down on underage online gambling advertising in the UK, the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) has unveiled tougher ad measures that will effectively prevent under-18s from viewing gambling advertisements online.

The UK trade body which represents all verticals of the gambling industry except the National Lottery made the announcement alongside the publication of the Sixth Edition of the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising. This new code of conduct will officially be effective from 1st October 2020, and all BGC members are expected to abide by the new regulations.

What Does the Updated Advertising Code of Conduct Say?

After the new advertising code comes into effect, all members of the trade body will be required to target all paid or sponsored social media ads to audiences of at least 25 years and above. This age restriction for social media advertisements will prevail unless the site can offer substantial evidence that its advertisements can accurately target consumers over 18 years old.

Moreover, gambling advertisements that will be showing up on search engines will have to make it clear that they are meant for mature audiences of at least 18 years old and over. On top of that, these ads will also be required to contain safer gambling messages.

As for video streaming platforms such as YouTube, consumers will now be required to have verified their age through their accounts before they are allowed to watch any gambling advertisements. This measure will guarantee that users under 18 years will not be able to watch the gambling commercials.

All members of the BGC will also be required to frequently publish responsible gambling posts via their Twitter handles as part of the compliance to this new advertising code of conduct.

BGC Continues to Push for Safer Gambling Advertising

The BGC has been going hard on safer gambling through a string of measures including the whistle to whistle ban on TV gambling advertisements which was recently lauded for its impressive success rate. Some of the other highly effective safer gambling strategies that were implemented by the trade body include new age and ID verification checks, promoting deposit limits, cooling-off periods on gambling machines, the introduction of a 20% requirement for safer gambling messages on all television and radio advertising, and significantly increasing funds allocated for the education, treatment, and research for gambling harm.

The new announcement by the BGC is a clear indication that the trade body is committed to making the UK gambling industry a safer space by driving up standards. After the publication of the new code of conduct, Michael Dugher, BGC’s Chief Executive Officer also called on the government to support BGC’s initiative in the following statement:

“… 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.

“It is vital that the big internet platforms honor their responsibilities to protect people online and we hope the Government will use its forthcoming Online Harms Bill to that effect. 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”

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