BGC introduces new rules to limit gambling exposure on social media

The Betting and Gaming Council has published new rules to prevent its member’s ads from appearing in football clubs’ social media posts.

The UK’s gambling industry body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has published a new set of rules which are intended to prevent ads for member organisations from appearing in football clubs’ social media posts.

The BGC’s rules

The BGC’s new set of rules aims to prevent under-18s from being exposed to gambling advertisements online. 

The new rules will prohibit football clubs from sharing calls to action, links to gambling sites, bonus offers and odds on non-promoted social media posts.

Promoted posts on social media, however, are exempt as these can be specifically targeted at adults.

The BGC has also written to both the English Premier League and English Football League to ensure clubs are aware of the rules. Football clubs will also be encouraged to adopt the same measures for partnerships with gambling companies that are not members of the BGC.

The industry body has also reached out to Twitter and Facebook to ensure age-gating is implemented for all gambling ads on their platforms.

Brigid Simmonds, 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 Twitter.

“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.”

The BGC’s marketing efforts

The introduction of these new rules comes after several new marketing standards were introduced last year.

In August last year, the BGC introduced measures to prevent minors from being exposed to gambling-related advertising.

Under the rules from last year, social media advertising materials must be targeted at consumers aged 25 and over unless the site can prove its adverts can precisely target over 18s.

The rules also included a requirement for gambling ads that appear on search engines to state that they are for people aged 18 and over. On top of this, gambling adverts must include safer gambling messaging.

YouTube users will also have to use age-verified accounts before they can view gambling advertising to ensure the ads cannot be seen by minors. These controls were first agreed by a Gambling Commission working group led by Sky Betting and Gaming in April 2020.

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