BGC announces new safeguards to protect young people from gambling harm

British Gaming Council vow to make gambling safer in the UK

The BGC (British Gaming Council) have this month strengthened their vow to make gambling safer in the United Kingdom by announcing a brand new code of conduct that will see operators toughen their advertising rules, preventing ads from reaching under-18s. 

The trade body, which is made up of iGaming companies including Flutter Entertainment (Paddy Power, Betfair, PokerStars), Betfred, GVC Holdings (Ladbrokes, Coral, Gala Bingo), 888, William Hill and NetEnt (amongst many others), made the announcement alongside the publication of the Sixth Edition of the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.

BGC toughen up rules on paid digital advertising 

The new code of conduct, which officially come into place on the 1st October 2020, requires all members of the BGC to ensure that their paid targeted advertising on all social media is age-restricted to audiences over 25-years and above. 

They must also ensure that they frequently publish posts promoting responsible gambling on their official Twitter pages. 

In situations where implementing age restrictions aren't necessarily possible, such as on search engines, companies must make it clear within the copy of their advertisement that their games are meant for mature audiences that are at least 18-years old, the advertisement must also contain a safer gambling message.

For those advertising on YouTube and other video streaming sites, only players that have verified their age through their account will be shown gambling advertisements, ensuring that they won't reach anyone under 18 whatsoever. 

Standards are rising as high as they possibly can says BGC Chief

Speaking on the new standards being introduced to help safeguard young people Chief Executive of the BGC Michael Dugher said: “As the new standards body for the regulated sector, we are committed to driving up standards within the betting and gaming industry.

“We have made excellent progress in recent times and the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising is updated as technology evolves. The latest edition is further evidence of our determination to continue to ensure that standards are rising and are as high as they can possibly be.

“BGC members have a zero tolerance attitude to under-18s betting, and from requirements for safer gambling messages to restrictions on YouTube advertising, this new code shows how seriously the BGC, who represent regulated betting but not the National Lottery, take our responsibilities.

“At the same time, we urge the Government to work with us to crack down on black market operators who have no interest in safer gambling or protecting their customers and do not work to the same responsible standards as BGC members.

“It is vital that the big internet platforms honour their responsibilities to protect people online and we hope the Government will use its forthcoming Online Harms Bill to that effect. The Review of the Gambling Act will also provide further opportunities to improve standards and we look forward to working with the Government on this”.

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