BGC announces more steps to cut underage exposure to ads

Gambling ads on social media sites will have to be targeted at over 25s.
Gambling ads on social media sites will have to be targeted at over 25s.

The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council has announced more measures on advertising this time aimed at social media.

UK.- The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has announced a series of further measures aimed at reducing exposure to gambling ads among under-18s. 

The announcement comes after the UK advertising watchdog, the ASA, this week said it had found 70 gambling ads on websites popular with minors in Q2.

The new measures specifically target online advertising and will require BGC members to ensure sponsored or paid-for social media adverts are targeted at consumers aged 25 and over, unless the website can prove the ads can be targeted at over-18s.

Gambling ads on YouTube, meanwhile, will only be permitted to be shown to users who have age-verified accounts, 

The new requirements will be added to the sixth edition of the BGC’s Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, which will come into effect from October 1.

Other changes include a requirement to add clarifications to gambling ads that appear on search engines to state clearly that they are promoting services only for use by over 18s. 

Search engine ads will also have to display safer gambling messages, and all operators will have to post safer gambling messages on their Twitter accounts.

Some of the changes were proposals put forward by a Gambling Commission working group earlier in the year.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “BGC members have a zero tolerance attitude to under-18s betting, and from requirements for safer gambling messages to restrictions on YouTube advertising, this new code shows how seriously the BGC, who represent regulated betting but not the National Lottery, take our responsibilities.

“It is vital that the big internet platforms honour 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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