Gambling Commission reminds licensees of some of the key rules

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Recently, the sports gambling industry has hit the headlines for more than one reason, firstly the head of chief of NHS England recently called on more action to reduce the number of gambling ads, then news hit of an increase in the number of sports book companies sponsoring top English football clubs, which results in children being exposed to gambling during day time television and finally, ASA announcied it was launching an investigation into bet now offers, that were aired during the Russian 2018 World Cup.

A Vital Reminder For all Licensees

Gambling in the headlines seems to be a spiralling issue, which is probably why the UK Gambling Commission, ASA and CAP have felt the need to remind licensees of some of the key rules, which are;

– Gambling adverts on football club websites: Operators must make sure their adverts or sponsorship links do not appear on football website pages that are targeted at children. For example, the junior sections of the club’s website.

– Gambling logos on under 18s football shirts: Operators should make sure that they do not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising (eg replica shirts) which is designed for use by children. Operators must also take account of Football Association rules which require that in the case of teams comprising players all under the age of 18, that gambling logos must not appear on any item of kit or clothing.

– Terms and conditions: The ASA regularly receives complaints where consumers do not feel the terms and conditions for offers have been made clear. Gambling firms must read the ASA’s specific guidance on Gambling ads: free bets and bonuses and its article on Promotional marketing: Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), which explains how conditions should be made clear to consumers. In addition to this, we also expect firms to ensure their promotions are not misleading and are in line with recent findings by the Competition and Market Authority.

– Advertising that appeals to under 18s: It is not acceptable for gambling websites to display freely accessible ads, which feature images that are likely to appeal particularly to under 18s. Last year, we issued a joint warning to online gambling firms. Firms must read the ASA’s updated advice on betting and gaming which may appeal to children and review the guidance published by the ASA in November 2017.

Advertising and problem gambling: Gambling firms must ensure advertising does not appeal to or target problem gamblers. This includes advertising that creates an inappropriate sense of urgency, such as “Bet Now!” during live events, and undue emphasis on money-motives to gamble. Earlier this year, CAP announced tougher standards on gambling advertising, which all firms should abide by.