We know that the volume and nature of gambling advertisement causes concern among the public and we are keen to work with regulators to address this.
Our advertising must be in line with the Industry Group for Responsible (IGRG) Code for Socially Responsible Advertising and the rules produced and administered by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP). These committees are set up by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The Industry Code for Responsible Advertising requires, for instance, the inclusion of ‘18+’ and ‘www.begambleaware.org ’ throughout the length of all our adverts, not advertising products such as casino games before the commonly accepted watershed of 9.00 pm and avoiding magazines that have a significant under 18 readership.
Through the Senet Group, we contribute towards industry-wide socially responsible advertising. The Senet Group was created to promote responsible gambling across the industry, supporting the work of the Gambling Commission and, in particular, ensuring that responsible gambling messages reach players. As members, we uphold their commitments which include a ban on sign-up offers for new customers on TV adverts before 9.00 pm and a ban on advertising gaming machines in shop windows.
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport announced a range of proposals to tighten regulation on gambling advertising, which have been progressing in 2018:
- In April 2018, new guidance from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to help protect those at risk of problem gambling, children and young people, by ensuring that the content of gambling adverts does not encourage impulsive or socially irresponsible gambling came into force;
- GambleAware, alongside Public Health England, have received £7 million to draw up a two year responsible gambling advertising campaign;
- GambleAware has also commissioned new research into the effects of marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable groups. The project will run for twelve months, until the beginning of 2019
We are keen to support this work in any way we can, to come up with a regulatory framework that is satisfactory for all parties.
The April 2018 CAP guidance was designed to help marketers interpret CAP’s and BCAP’s gambling rules relating to responsibility and problem gambling issues. The guidance was based on ASA rulings and a review of the evidence around advertising’s impact.
- Restrict ads that create an inappropriate sense of urgency like those including “Bet Now!” offers during live events;
- Curb trivialisation of gambling (e.g. encouraging repetitive play);
- Prevent approaches that give an irresponsible perception of the risk or control (e.g. “Risk Free Deposit Bonus”);
- Provide greater detail on problem gambling behaviours and associated behaviours that should not be portrayed, even indirectly;
- Prevent undue emphasis on money-motives for gambling; and
- Provide more detail on vulnerable groups like problem gamblers that marketers need to work to protect.