The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has released a recent animation video showcasing the determination and efforts of its members to protect under-18s from gambling.
According to the standards agency, its members have a “zero-tolerance” attitude to gaming by under-18s, with the UK industry leading the way in defending younger consumers from gambling facilities and commercial content.
Strict advertising guidelines
Implementing the ‘Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’ – BGC members conform to the most strict advertising guidelines in all digital platforms to protect younger viewers.
Both gambling promotions must be created and aimed for viewers aged 25 and over, according to the rules. In addition, in order to access betting-related material on social media and video sharing sites, all viewers must be age checked.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the United Kingdom branded gambling as the most powerful adult industry in preventing young viewers from consuming inappropriate advertising materials, based on improved performance.
The BGC has since prioritised education as a vital component in securing under-18s, with its members committing to a £10 million public education campaign led by gaming prevention charities YGAM and GamCare.
New code of ethics
Additional plans are in the works to protect underage people, according to a recent page on the BGC website, as well as a new code of ethics aimed at banning football clubs from using their social media accounts to advertise gambling deals.
In 2020, the safety of under-18s made national news after a GambleAware and University of Bristol report showed that more than half of UK 16-to-17-year-olds gambled.
Cross-party MPs and the Children’s Commissioner for England recommended that the government automatically lift the buying age cap on National Lottery items from 16 to 18 years old – an order that DCMS dutifully fulfilled as a central condition of the government’s reform of the 2005 Gambling Act.
The Betting and Gaming Council’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, 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.”