BGC adopts guidelines to restrict the publicity to gambling on social media

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The Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) has released a new regulation to prevent ads for its members from appearing on football clubs' social media posts.

The rules are designed to prevent children under the age of 18 from being exposed to online gambling advertisements.

They prohibit clubs from including calls to action or links to gambling websites in unsolicited social media posts. Bonus offers and chances of winning are also prohibited.

However, promoted positions are excluded as they may be specifically aimed at adults.

The BGC has written to both the Premier League and the English Football League to make clubs aware of the rules.

"Football clubs are an important part of the country's sports fabric, followed by millions of people of all ages on social media," said Brigid Simmonds, chairwoman of the BGC.

“Our members rightly pursue a zero tolerance approach to gambling under the age of 18. Therefore, as an industry, we are understandably concerned that children could be exposed to betting ads on social media platforms.

"Our new guidelines set out the standards football clubs are expected to see when they post gambling advertisements on social media and I look forward to seeing them put into practice as soon as possible."

Clubs are also encouraged to apply the same controls to partnerships with operators who are not BGC members.

In addition, the association has asked Twitter and Facebook to introduce age-gating for all gambling ads on their platforms.

The new rules of the BGC follow a number of new marketing standards introduced last year.

These appear to have social media ads for gambling that are aimed only at people aged 25 and over whenever possible.

The standards were first agreed by a working group formed by the Gambling Commission and chaired by Sky Betting & Gaming in April 2020.