20% of UK Ads to be on Safer Gambling
by Glenn Baird - June 5, 2020
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has pledged that 20% of the adverts on TV and radio advertising from its members will be safer gambling ads.
With over 95% of UK operators members of the BGC this ruling all but ensures that 20% of TV and radio advertising in the UK will consist of safer gambling messages.
In April of this year all members of the BGC vowed to halt advertising, with the exception of safer gambling messages for at least 6 weeks. Despite some controversy, with a number of high profile operators singled out for allegedly using their safer gambling ads as a platform to push their own brand, the pledge has been adhered to.
With that six week period coming to an end and with the impending resumption of online sports betting the BGC want to continue their commitment to safer gambling awareness out with and beyond this period of lockdown.
Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC wrote the following statement on the matter:
“What’s important to me, as CEO of the new standards body, is that people are able to gamble safely and that the regulated industry is committed to the highest possible standards. That means that when it comes to advertising, we also need the highest possible standards.
“That is why during lockdown, when people were confined to their houses, increasing their screen time, often feeling isolated and bored, and for many with financial uncertainty, there was a need for even greater levels of safer gambling and an added layer of sensitivity around advertising.
“At the end of April, our industry went further and announced restrictions on gaming advertising. As a result, pre-booked advertising slots were devoted to safer gambling messaging, donated to a charity, or removed completely. I had hoped that remaining major gambling operators like the National Lottery would follow our lead, but that sadly didn’t happen.”
He went on to write about finding the balance between advertising and social responsibility before adding:
“This agreement by BGC members comes to an end today, but the industry’s commitment to responsible advertising and promoting safer gambling will continue.
“To that end, our members – who account for around half of all gambling advertising on TV and radio in the UK – will ensure that at least 20 per cent of all advertising on TV and radio will be safer gambling adverts.
“In response to public concern, we voluntarily introduced a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on TV advertising around all live sport. This means that, for any live sports before 9pm, from five minutes before an event starts, during it and until five minutes after it ends, no betting adverts can appear. It is worth remembering, incidentally, that there are no restrictions on National Lottery advertising at any time of day.
“No doubt prohibitionists from the anti-gambling lobby will say that the advertising restrictions on our members do not go far enough.”
Along with all of this a code of conduct will be drafted for all member of the BGC to follow and an overall approach to promoting safer gambling.
Dugher concluded: “In the coming weeks and months, millions of us will fancy a flutter – whether that’s on Royal Ascot or a bet on the Merseyside derby – and the vast majority will do so happily and safely. The BGC is determined that every possible step is taken to make sure that continues to be the case.
“As we happily begin to ease our way out of lockdown, we will continue to have our foot on the gas when it comes to our commitment to safer gambling – including responsible advertising.”