The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has made some improvements to the Industry code as a response to calls for tougher rules on advertising.
IGRG has announced on Thursday that a range of improvements will be made to the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.
The original code, which was published in 2007, includes measures such as the 9 p.m. TV watershed for all gambling products except for bingo and sports betting around televised sports events; the requirement for advertisements to carry information about the Gamble Aware website; and the removal of sponsoring operators’ logos from all children’s merchandise, such as replica football kits.
The revised version of the code, which will be implemented within six months, prohibits gambling ads from including sign-up offers for new customers before 9 p.m.; all television and radio adverts should have a socially responsible gambling message at the end; the inclusion of clear 18+ or ‘no under 18s’ messaging on all print and television adverts, plus new provisions to cover aspects of marketing on social media.
“The gambling industry has a responsibility to ensure that it takes all reasonable steps to minimize the extent of problem gambling and to prevent underage gambling from taking place. Socially responsible advertising is essential if that is to be achieved,” said IGRG chairman Barry Hardy.
Hardy also said that the changes to the Code will add to protections that are already in place and will further raise awareness of the need for consumers to keep their gambling fully under control.
These changes follows the review commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) into all aspects of gambling advertising in 2014.
Tracey Crouch, the sports minister, welcomed the announcement but said that she also wanted the industry to work with regulators to ensure that the promotion of gambling on social media did not put young people at risk.
“I also want to see gambling operators, regulators and social media firms come together to examine if more needs to be done to ensure that marketing for gambling products is not reaching young people through social media,” said Couch. “I will continue to look at the issue of gambling advertising regularly and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to protect people from being harmed by gambling.”