| New rules also
prohibit celebrities who look under-25 from appearing in promotions
Gambling adverts will no longer be allowed to
appear on websites or in computer games that are popular with children, under
new rules designed to stop irresponsible gambling.
Bookmakers will be
required to use every targeting tool possible to ensure online gambling
promotions are not seen by under-18s. They will also have to avoid placing
gambling adverts on parts of websites that are popular with children, and stop
using celebrities or other people who appear to be under 25 in their
The rules will mean many well-known footballers will not be
allowed to feature in gambling adverts because of their age, while bookmakers
will also be banned from advertising with social media influencers who are
popular with children. More than ever it will pay to do your own research and
look at a Casino Guide to locate the best
The changes, which will come into effect from April, are designed
to clarify existing standards amid growing concern over the prevalence of
gambling promotions in all forms of media. They introduce a blanket requirement
for gambling operators to use all the tools available to them on a social
network platform to prevent targeting their ads at under-18s.
Increasing attention is being paid to the presence of gambling ads in
computer games that are popular with children. Earlier this month the
advertising watchdog banned gambling ads that appeared in ITVs Im A
Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here app for breaking rules designed to stop
under-18s from being encouraged to bet.
The advertising regulator
recently banned three Coral Interactive ads for featuring animated images of a
rainbow, a pot of gold and a leprechaun, because they were likely to appeal to
children. A William Hill advert appearing within the app New MarioKart 8 Trick
was also banned for not being appropriately targeted away from children.
Last year, with the threat of regulation looming, the gambling industry
confirmed it would press ahead with a voluntary ban on betting adverts during
pre-watershed sport programmes from the start of the next football season.
However, this voluntary change will not block children from seeing gambling
promotions during football matches, due to the prevalence of gambling companies
that sponsor team shirts.
The rules were announced by the Committee of
Advertising Practice, which writes the UK advertising code. The body has
previously banned adverts that depict men and women in gender-stereotypical
Playing at the margins of regulatory compliance is a
gamble at the best of times, but for gambling advertisers its
particularly ill-advised, especially when the welfare of children is at
stake, said Shahriar Coupal, the CAPs director. Our new
standards respond to the latest evidence and lessons from Advertising Standards
Agency rulings, and require that greater care is taken in the placement and
content of gambling ads to ensure they are not inadvertently targeted at
A recent UK study suggested 450,000 11 to 16-year-olds
regularly gamble and a Gambling Commission audit found that the number of
problem gamblers aged 11 to 16 rose to 55,000 between 2016-2018.