The Betting and Gaming Council, which represents many top organisations in the British betting industry both online and offline, has announced additional measures that are aimed at protecting children from being exposed to online gambling advertisements.

The Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising has just been published, and it introduces several new requirements which gambling operators that are members of the BGC must adhere to as of Thursday, 1st October 2020.

For example, YouTube users will need to pass age-verification checks before they are able to view gambling ads, while ads that are shown via search engines must not only include safer gambling messages but must also clearly state that their offers and brands are for over-18s only.

Any gambling-related ads that are shown on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (whether paid for or sponsored) should only be targeted at the 25+ age group. Plus, members of the Betting and Gaming Council (such as Betfair, Paddy Power, GVC, and Bet365) have an ongoing responsibility to post safer gambling messages on their Twitter accounts.

In addition, the BGC will now require 20% of all radio and TV ads to contain information about safer gambling, deposit limit tools and age/ID verification checks.

The BGC has a commitment to continuous improvement and expects its members to identify and adopt best practice in relation to safer gambling. Members are also required to participate in and contribute towards independent research that will help the BGC to provide accurate information regarding the UK gambling industry to policymakers, the Government, the public and the media.

The new advertising regulations couldn’t have come at a better time after the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) recently revealed that the gambling industry is the worst offender for underage advertising. This is despite the ASA’s advertising code requiring advertisers to ensure that adverts are targeted away from minors when placing age-restricted ads online.

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