BGC expands gambling advertising rules

The new BGC advertising rules will come into effect on December 1.
The new BGC advertising rules will come into effect on December 1.

Its Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising extends rules to digital marketing.

UK.- The UK industry association the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has updated its advertising rules for members. Its Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising (IGRG code) extends existing rules to cover digital advertising.

That includes the commitment to devote 20 per cent of advertising to safer gambling messages and the expansion of the “25+ rule” to digital media platforms that provide an age filter. Previously, the policy did not cover websites that could prove their ads could precisely target over-18s. 

The rules, which apply to all BGC members, will come into force on December 1. The BGC says it worked on their formulation with Bacta, the Bingo Association and the Lotteries Council.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “Helping protect young people is our number one priority. BGC members have already taken significant steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences. With more help from the platforms, we can do even more.

“Safer gambling messaging is also absolutely crucial. It is about ensuring that customers use safer gambling tools like setting deposits limits and time outs. It is also about the vitally important work of signposting the help that is out there to help the minority of gamblers who might be struggling with their betting and gaming. 

“The new edition of the IGRG Code is further evidence of our determination to continue to ensure that standards are rising and are as high as they can possibly be.”

Meanwhile, the BGC has defended Dugher after he was accused by the head of the charity Samaritans of trying to “twist” its words to play down any link between gambling addiction and suicide. The body described the accusation as a “smear”. However, gambling lobbying has been the subject of increased scrutiny in the UK. Concerns have been raised in British media about links between the Gamblers Consumer Forum, and Steven Donoughue, a gambling industry consultant and former secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Betting & Gaming Group.

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