BGC highlights members’ zero-tolerance approach to underage gambling

By | March 15, 2021

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has produced a new animated video highlighting its members’ commitment and work to protecting under-18s from gambling. 

The standards body states that its membership maintains a ‘zero-tolerance‘ on its approach to gambling by under-18s – in which the UK sector leads the way in safeguarding younger audiences from engaging with gambling services and advertising content.

Implementing the ‘Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’ – BGC members adhere to the most stringent advertising standards protecting younger audiences across all media formats.

Measures include that all gambling campaigns must be developed and targeted for audiences aged + 25 years of age. Further protections, saw all audiences require to be age verified in order to view betting-related content on social media and video sharing platforms  

Improved results, saw UK advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) brand gambling as the most effective adult sector in protecting underage audiences from viewing inappropriate advertising materials. 

The BGC has further focused on education as a core directive in protecting under-18s – with its members funding a £10 million national education programme developed by gambling prevention charities YGAM and GamCare.

A new page on the BGC website includes further measures which are in the pipeline to protect young people, as well as the new code of conduct aimed at preventing football clubs from using their social media platforms to promote gambling offers.

The protection of under-18s hit national headlines in 2020, as a GambleAware and University of Bristol study indicated that more than half of UK 16-to-17-year-olds had gambled.   

The backlash from cross-party MPs and the Children’s Commissioner for England demanded that the government immediately increase the purchasing age-limit on National Lottery products from 16 to 18 – an order duly met by DCMS as a core condition of the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “Our members rightly have a zero-tolerance approach on this issue, which is why we have welcomed the Government’s decision to increase the minimum age for playing the National Lottery to 18. 

“For our part, we have introduced a raft of new online protections for young people and taken action to reduce their exposure to gambling advertising, and our work with YGAM and GamCare is also delivering results, with progress during the first year of the partnership far exceeding expectations.

“We are making good progress, as our new animation shows, but we are committed to doing even more as part of our ongoing drive to deliver change and raise standards.”