September 5, 2023 3 min read


Betting and Gaming Council Enhances Responsible Advertising Standards

These changes underscore the industry’s commitment to promoting safer gambling and curbing exposure to underage individuals

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has announced significant updates to the Seventh Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising (IGRG code), enhancing current advertising standards. These efforts coincide with the upcoming UK white paper and should significantly benefit consumers, tackling problem gambling by raising awareness and protecting vulnerable individuals.

Responsible Gaming Messaging Receives a Boost

One of the most notable amendments to the code is the new requirement that 20% of all advertising across television, radio, and digital channels focuses on promoting safer gambling practices. This move underscores Council members’ commitment to ensuring that consumers are well-informed about the potential risks associated with gambling.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher was optimistic that the updates would bring notable improvements to existing standards, empowering consumers with the knowledge and resources needed to make informed choices. Through these changes, the BGC seeks to strike a balance between a thriving industry and the well-being of its customers.

It is about ensuring that customers use safer gambling tools and… helping the minority of gamblers who might be struggling with their betting and gaming.

Michael Dugher, BGC CEO

BGC’s renewed commitment to marketing integrity coincides with a recent boom in UK gambling advertising violations. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) routinely fines operators for harmful and irresponsible advertisements potentially appealing to minors. A recent ad by bet365 featuring soccer player Granit Xhaka came under fire, forcing the ASA to take it down.  

New Measures Will Curb Underage Gambling Exposure

Another vital change seeks to address the industry’s deficiencies regarding underage advertising by enforcing an age limit of 25 and older for all online promotional material. Dugher noted that protecting UK youth was the BGC’s number one priority, adding the Council would collaborate with social media platforms to ensure compliance.

BGC Members have already taken significant steps to ensure adverts… only reach the right audiences. With more help from the platforms, we can do even more.

Michael Dugher, BGC CEO

These comprehensive updates coincide with the UK white paper, which will dramatically overhaul the country’s gambling legislation. The government should soon finalize any last-minute amendments and proceed to the implementation phase, enacting these much-needed updates. Comprehensive input from industry stakeholders like charities, regulators, and the BGC should hopefully contribute to a robust, forward-looking white paper.

The Council’s planned changes to the IGRG code will come into effect on 1 December 2023, giving operators time to update their procedures. Although such initiatives represent a significant step forward, self-regulation can be unreliable. Collaboration with official regulatory bodies like the ASA and UKGC remains vital to protecting consumers and fostering a responsible and sustainable industry.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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