UK: 20% of ads to be safer gambling messages

The BGC chief executive made the announcement as its lockdown ad suspension came to an end.
The BGC chief executive made the announcement as its lockdown ad suspension came to an end.

The BGC says it will ensure 20% of members’ TV and radio ads are safer gambling messages as its lockdown ad suspension ends.

UK.- The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has taken its stance on advertising further, committing to ensure that 20 per cent of its member’s ads are safer gambling messages as said members begin advertising again following a temporary suspension during the pandemic.

In April the BGC said its members would voluntarily suspend all TV and radio advertising for six weeks. Writing on Politics Home, Chief Executive Michael Dugher said the trade association will continue to commit to its stance on safer gambling as the UK emerges from lockdown by introducing the new measure.

He wrote: “What’s important to me, as CEO of the new standards body, is that people are able to gamble safely and that the regulated industry is committed to the highest possible standards. That means that when it comes to advertising, we also need the highest possible standards.

“That is why during lockdown, when people were confined to their houses, increasing their screen time, often feeling isolated and bored, and for many with financial uncertainty, there was a need for even greater levels of safer gambling and an added layer of sensitivity around advertising.

“At the end of April, our industry went further and announced restrictions on gaming advertising. As a result, pre-booked advertising slots were devoted to safer gambling messaging, donated to a charity, or removed completely. I had hoped that remaining major gambling operators like the National Lottery would follow our lead, but that sadly didn’t happen.”

Dugher said a balance had to be achieved between advertising and responsibility, and that BGC members would “continue to follow advertising standards”.

“In response to public concern, we voluntarily introduced a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on TV advertising around all live sport. This means that, for any live sports before 9pm, from five minutes before an event starts, during it and until five minutes after it ends, no betting adverts can appear.

“It is worth remembering, incidentally, that there are no restrictions on National Lottery advertising at any time of day.”

Dugher also said the BGC wanted to see further action taken on the Online Harms Bill to crack down on the promotion of unregulated betting sites. The BGC will produce a code of conduct for affiliates and encourage the licensing of affiliates by the UK Gambling Commission.

In this article:
advertising regulation