The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the UK’s only wagering and gaming industry body, has revealed a new set of steps to additionally ensure that individuals under 18 years old stop seeing ads in digital media, according to official press release of the BGC. Additionally, the new steps will be officially announced in the Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising (IGRG code).

New code:

In addition to improving standards for advertising for young individuals, the latest code will expand the present devotion, which makes sure that 20% of radio and TV marketing is committed to “safer gambling messaging, to digital media advertising too.” However, members of the Betting and Gaming Council have so far taken great strides to make sure that just those legally permitted to wager have access to online ads for regulated gaming and wagering products.

As for the former rules, they made sure that any paid or sponsored ad on social media should target users 25 and over. The only exception would be if the website could demonstrate that its ads could be “precisely targeted” to individuals over the age of 18. However, according to the new rules, the aforementioned 25+ rule will be expanded to any digital media platform that offers a suitable age filter.

The latest code, which will take effect from December 1, 2023, is the newest example of BGC’s strong will to raise standards in the gaming and wagering industry.

Additional measures:

Among the many measures that have already been introduced, some of them are:

  • “whistle to whistle ban on TV gambling ads;
  • cooling off periods on gaming machines;
  • encouraging deposit limits;
  • new ID and age verification checks;
  • massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment.”

One more measure was the BGC code of conduct, which banned football clubs, that are famous among younger generations, from “posting direct marketing on betting odds and sites,” on their social media accounts.

But that’s not all; as BGC members have also launched an initiative with the aforementioned social media platforms to permit users to decide for themselves whether they want to get online gaming and wagering ads. On that note, Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, wrote to DCMS earlier in 2023 “urging the Department to put pressure on social media platforms to do more,” which Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Minister Stuart Andrew MP, has since validated that “he will convene a meeting to help drive change.”

BGC is very strict when it comes to wagering by children:

BGC doesn’t have tolerance when it comes to wagering by children. However, as detailed by the Gambling Commission’s Young People and Gambling Report (2022): “The most popular forms of betting by children are arcade games like penny pusher and claw grab machines (22 per cent) bets between friends (15 per cent), playing cards for money (5 per cent) and fruit machines (3 per cent). Participation in gambling by children (11-16 years) has fallen significantly since 2011 – from 23 per cent of children participating in some form of gambling on a past-week basis to 7 per cent in 2022.”

Speaking on the matter, BGC CEO, Michael Dugher, said: “As the standards body for the regulated sector, we are committed to continuing to drive up standards and make big changes across the betting and gaming industry. 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, but also it is 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.”

What’s more, the newest measures have been carefully thought out by the BGC of course, but also by the Bingo Association and the Lotteries Council Bacta. In this way a “cross industry effort” was achieved.

Wagering highly popular in the UK:

Almost 22.5 million adults in the UK wager per month. In addition, the tax income from the regulated gaming and wagering industry is £4.2bn which finance necessary public services and the contribution to the UK economy is £7.1bn in GVA. Also, the aforementioned industry backs up 110.000 job positions across the country.