New Gambling Advertisement Rule Comes into Force

While we wait to see what the UK government has in store for the gambling industry, October has seen one new rule come into force.

This month has seen the introduction of a new rule by the Committee for Advertising Practice’s (CAP). It means that top footballers and celebrities are now barred from promoting gambling. The aim of this rule is to protect children from the many gambling advertisements that are made.

It’s believed that gambling advertisements will have more impact on under-18s if they feature those who have a “strong appeal” to them. Those players and celebrities who are seen as role models by those under the legal age to gamble cannot now be included. Nor can video games that under-18s will find of interest.

It’s a step forward in the tightening of restrictions on the way gambling is advertised. In the past, such advertisements weren’t allowed if it was judged they would be more of interest to children than adults.

There was controversy over the advertising of a slot game based on the movie ‘The Goonies.’ It was ruled that the advertisement didn’t break the rules because most children hadn’t heard of the movie.

Now the advertising watchdog has changed the rules stating that advertisements must not “directly influence” under-18s to gamble. This they hope will stop a new generation of gamblers being created as advertisements “influence longer-term attitudes.”

Speaking about the new rule, the Director of CAP, Shahriar Coupal commented: “By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

There is still plenty of progress to be made on the subject of football clubs being sponsored by gambling companies. Only this week, Manchester City signed up another betting partner. The UK government has in the past spoken about the subject but seems to prefer a voluntary ban by Premier League clubs.

Meanwhile down under, several sports teams in New South Wales have said they will continue to opt out of deals with gambling companies. The state has a ‘Reclaim the Game’ initiative and this is being backed by teams such as Australian A-League football clubs, Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

They are among 14 teams from five sports that refuse to have betting related sponsorship. They also hold gambling awareness and education sessions. Research had shown that nearly half of those aged 12-17 had seen gambling advertisements. One in three considered it normal to be placing bets on sporting events.