BGC Welcomes New Crack Down on Illegal Ads and Measures to Further Protect Children Online
THE Betting and Gaming Council welcomes new rules announced by Government to crack down on illegal ads online, and better protect young people from harm.
Under new measures unveiled by Department of Culture, Media and Sport Minister Sir John Whittingdale MP, social media platforms and websites will have to take tougher action to stop children seeing age-restricted adverts for some products, including gambling.
Ministers also detailed plans to establish a new task-force to drive better industry standards under Government plans published in response to its Online Advertising Programme.
It comes weeks after the BGC publicly called on social media giants to cooperate with our members on improved safeguards which protect vulnerable groups and prevent children seeing adverts for age-restricted products.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher wrote to DCMS earlier this year, urging the Department to put pressure on social media platforms to do more.
DCMS Minister Stuart Andrew MP has since confirmed he will convene a meeting to help drive change.
BGC members have already taken major steps to ensure only those legally allowed to bet see online marketing for regulated betting and gaming products.
Currently all social media advertisements for BGC members must be targeted at those aged over 25, unless platforms can provide evidence to verify the accuracy of their targeting to over 18s.
A new BGC code of conduct was also introduced placing a ban on football clubs using their social media accounts – which are popular with youngsters – posting direct marketing on betting odds and sites.
BGC members have also led on a push with social media platforms to allow the public to opt-out from receiving betting and gaming advertising online.
Betting and Gaming Council CEO, Michael Dugher said: “We strongly welcome these new measures set out by Sir John Whittingdale MP which will do more to protect children and young people from seeing age restricted adverts.
“It follows our calls on the Government to do more in this area, because we recognised change was needed.
“BGC Members have already taken big steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences. 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, whilst investing in jobs and businesses in the UK.”
The BGC would like to see further cooperation on issues including introducing a marketing suppression tool by all social media companies to prevent all betting and gaming ads being seen by those who have voluntarily excluded on GAMSTOP, the national self-exclusion scheme.
And more work done on ad frequency, to protect vulnerable groups and young people, which BGC members cannot do without the cooperation of social media companies.
The regulated betting and gaming industry in the UK supports 110,000 jobs, generates £4.2bn in tax and contributes £7.1bn to the economy.
Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and we are encouraged by the latest figures from the Gambling Commission which show the rate of problem gambling among adults in the UK is 0.3 per cent.