Leading tech platforms Meta, Twitter, Google and Snap will provide their input into the forum – alongside advertising bodies – to work together and develop fresh ways of further protecting children online, including how data can be used to improve age accuracy.
BGC members have already taken major steps to protect young people, including new rules aimed at ensuring that children cannot view gambling ads on football clubs’ official social media accounts, while tech platforms continue to deploy robust ad targeting to ensure gambling ads are not accessed by those who are underage.
The Forum will build on the commitments made in the Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, which stipulates that gambling operators must ensure all sponsored or paid for social media adverts are targeted at those aged 25 and over unless it can be proved the adverts meet a standard of age targeting verified by an agreed third party.
It also includes a requirement that gambling ads appearing on search engines must make clear that these products are for those aged 18-plus, while the adverts themselves must include safer gambling messages.
According to the Gambling Commission, the proportion of young people taking part in any form of gambling has fallen from 23 per cent in 2011 to 11 per cent in 2019.
The main forms of gambling young people take part in are playing cards, private bets with friends, scratchcards and fruit machines – all types of gambling that are not offered by BGC members (2019 Young People and Gambling report).
However, the regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to go even further in raising standards and promoting safer gambling.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “I am delighted that the BGC has been able to co-ordinate the Ad Tech Forum, which I’m sure will come up with new ways of protecting young people and the vulnerable online.
“Since being set up two years ago, we have worked tirelessly to drive up standards and promote safer gambling, and this is proof of our determination to go even further.”
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, said: “We welcome the proactive work by the gambling industry with tech platforms and advertising bodies. It is essential that gambling ads online and in social media meet the highest standards of social responsibility.”