New consultation launched around stricter gambling ad rules

Stricter gambling ad

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have launched a new consultation that will focus on stricter gambling ad rules. This consultation will cover both the existing rules around young people and those who are potential problem gamblers. This comes as multiple operators face fines for breaking the existing rules.

Two key changes proposed

The current rules specify that gambling ads are prohibited from having a “particular appeal” to under-18s. However, under the new proposed stricter gambling ad rules, they will be prohibited from having a “strong appeal”.

This rule will come with an exception where an ad could feature “the subject of the licensed gambling activity”. This means that a football match could feature an ad for football betting. However, the CAP and BCAP has urged that advertisers must be cautious.

The second rule change will reduce the risk of irresponsible messing being seen by problem gamblers. Advertisers will not be allowed to use humour to downplay gambling risks or present complex bets in a certain way. This is extremely damaging, especially if this content is seen by those who are vulnerable or underage. There are a series of new rules in this category, each being considered very important by all parties.

Finding a balance

According to the ASA, the consultation hopes to find a proportionate balance between protecting vulnerable players and allowing gambling operators to promote to an adult audience. This is a difficult balance to find and one that has been addressed time and time again by numerous parties.

By eliminating ads that present unrealistic portrayals of winners and that suggest that there is skill involved, these parties can work together to create a safe environment for all involved.

The Director of Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal said: “The consultation proposes a strengthening of our rules and guidance which will help us in our ongoing work to prevent children, young and other vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling advertising. It responds to valuable research commissioned by GambleAware that has highlighted how gambling ads have more potential than previously understood to adversely impact these audiences – that’s something we take very seriously and that we are aiming to address.”.

Monitoring any rules

As always, it is vital that affiliates and operator marketing teams are aware of any new rules surrounding gambling ads or advertising of any kind. Compliance with the law is key or we risk losing licenses to operate. The UKGC and ASA are not shy about enforcing their rules as the evidence suggests. The consolation has not yet concluded its findings but these rules will come into place soon enough.

For now, staying up to date with the latest rules and regulations should be a main concern. Many operators have been fined recently in relation to the stricter gambling ads so don’t let yourself fall into this trap.