The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) welcomes the new rules announced by the Government to crack down on illegal ads online as well as to better protect young people from harm.
Unveiled by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Minister Sir John Whittingdale MP, these new measures will enforce social media platforms and websites to take tougher action to stop children from seeing age-restricted ads for some products, including those related to gambling.
Ministers also described plans to establish a new task force to drive better industry standards under Government plans published in response to its Online Advertising Programme.
This comes weeks after the BGC publicly called on social media brands to cooperate with their members with regards to improved safeguards aiming to protect vulnerable groups and prevent children from seeing adverts for age-restricted products.
Earlier this year, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher wrote to DCMS, urging the Department to put pressure on social media platforms to do more.
In response, DCMS Minister Stuart Andrew MP confirmed he will convene a meeting to help drive change.
BGC members have already taken major steps to make sure that only those legally allowed to bet are able to see online marketing for regulated betting and gaming products.
Currently, all social media ads must be targeted at those aged over 25, unless platforms can provide evidence to prove the accuracy of their targeting to over 18s.
Additionally, a new BGC code of conduct was introduced, putting a ban on football clubs using their social media accounts - this is quite popular with youngsters - posting direct marketing on betting odds and websites.
BGC members have also urged social media platforms to enable the public to opt-out from receiving betting and gaming ads online.
Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council CEO, said:
"We strongly welcome these new measures set out by Sir John Whittingdale MP which will do more to protect children and young people from seeing age restricted adverts.
It follows our calls on the Government to do more in this area, because we recognized change was needed.
BGC Members have already taken big steps to ensure adverts by our members only reach the right audiences. This new guidance from the Government will ensure that the platforms are required to do the same.
Our members look forward to continuing to drive higher standards, whilst investing in jobs and businesses in the UK."
The BGC is expecting to see further cooperation on issues including:
- The introduction of a marketing suppression tool from all social media companies to prevent all betting and gaming ads being seen by those who have voluntarily excluded themselves on GAMSTOP, the national self-exclusion scheme.
- More work done on ad frequency in order to protect young people and vulnerable groups, which BGC members cannot do without the cooperation of social media companies.