New regulations have been enforced by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to prevent football clubs from advertising gambling deals and operating websites through official social media accounts.
A handful of Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and Scottish Premiership clubs, last week received a letter from a consortium of ’50 former gambling addicts’ warning about the dangers of social media feeds for advertising betting firms.
11 clubs across the UK were subjected to a letter informing how addicts might feel ‘distressed’ to see links on Twitter posts to operator sites and be ‘encouraged’ to place a wager on the match.
In response, the BGC has drawn up a new set of directives discussing this topic to protect young people.
Active from 1 March
Under the current BGC code of conduct, which will be active from 1 March, organic tweets on the social media feeds of football clubs will not encourage calls for action or links to gambling websites. Any show of direct incentives or odds on organic tweets that can not be aimed only at over-18s is also prohibited by the code of conduct.
The BGC wrote to the Premier League and the EFL highlighting the new guidelines in order to raise awareness among clubs and to call on them to extend the rules to non-BGC members.
Social media platforms
Furthermore, a letter was sent to Twitter and Facebook urging the networking sites to adopt age-gating on all social media pages to ensure that only over-18s can see organic posts that contain gambling advertising.
Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairman of the BGC said: “Football clubs are an important part of the sporting fabric of this country, followed by millions of all ages on social media.
“Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on social media platforms.
“Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible.”