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BGC welcomes new UK online ad rules

| By iGB Editorial Team
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed new online advertising rules announced by the UK government.
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The new gambling ad measures were unveiled yesterday by the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Social media platforms and websites will have to take tougher action to stop children seeing age-restricted adverts, including for gambling. Platforms will be “required by law to have proportionate systems and processes” in place, DCMS stated.

“This will improve safety, transparency and consumer trust… while supporting industry growth,” the department added.

Creative Industries minister Sir John Whittingdale also outlined plans to establish a new task force to improve industry standards.

Greater action

Dugher said today (26 July) that the BGC welcomed the new rules.

He added that the BGC had previously called for more action “because we recognised change was needed”.

“BGC members have already taken big steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences,” he said. “This new guidance from the government will ensure that the platforms are required to do the same.

“Our members look forward to continuing to drive higher standards, while investing in jobs and businesses in the UK.”

Further progress

BGC members have already taken steps to ensure only those legally allowed to bet see online marketing for regulated products.

Currently, all social media advertisements for BGC members must be targeted at people over the age of 25. This rule applies unless platforms can provide evidence to verify the accuracy of their targeting to over-18s.

A new BGC code of conduct was also introduced, banning betting-related marketing from being distributed on the social media accounts of football clubs.

BGC members also previously called on social media platforms to allow the public to opt-out from receiving adverts online.

There is currently a self-regulatory system for online adverts in the UK, overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority. However, as pointed out by DCMS, there are difficulties in applying rules to unregulated businesses.

“As online advertising has taken a steadily bigger share, the rules governing it have not kept pace,” Whittingdale said yesterday.

“We will make sure that our proposed regulation helps keep people safe while supporting and enhancing the legitimate advertising industry.”


The BGC added today that it would like to see further cooperation with social media platforms.

One area of particular interest is the potential introduction of a marketing suppression tool by all platforms to prevent adverts from reaching those who have self-excluded through GAMSTOP.

The BGC also wants more action on the frequency of ads. This is something “BGC members cannot do without the cooperation of social media companies” a spokesperson added.

The latest news comes at a time of significant discussions over the regulation of betting and gaming in the UK. Earlier this month, the BGC asked MPs to consider the effects on the wider industry in their review of the Gambling Act Review white paper.

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