The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has drafted a new series of rules aimed at prohibiting football teams from using their official social media accounts to advertise gambling-related offers.
The BGC has drafted such rules as it is concerned that children may be exposed to betting advertisements on social media platforms. This move comes after the mounting pressure surrounding the issue of such advertisements being pushed via the social media platforms of football clubs. The move also comes as concerns regarding gambling advertisements by clubs on their official social media accounts have been increasingly raised.
Calls to action or site links to gambling platforms on organic tweets on social media accounts of football clubs will not be tolerated under the current BGC code of conduct, with bans imposed on any advertisement that show direct bonuses or odds that cannot be aimed exclusively at over-18s.
The BGC has written to the Premier League and the English Football League highlighting the newly drafter guidelines so that they can spread awareness among clubs and encourage them to apply the rules to non-BGC members.
In addition, the BGC has also contacted Twitter and Facebook calling for them to introduce age-gating on all social media accounts to ensure that only over-18s will be able to see gambling-related adverts.
Speaking about this development, Brigid Simmonds OBE, the chairman of the BGC, explained that football clubs are an important part of the sporting fabric of the UK, followed by millions of fans spanning across all ages on social media. He further went on to say that the BGC’s members rightly have a zero-tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s and that the industry is understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on social media platforms. He went on to highlight that the BGC’s new guidelines make the standards expected of football clubs clear when they post gambling promotions on social media. With this in mind Simmonds and the BGC look forward to the new rules being put into practice as soon as possible.
The BGC released the Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising last August. The code stipulates that members must ensure that all social media posts funded or paid for are aimed at those aged 25 and older unless the website can show that their advertisements can be targeted precisely at over-18s.
It also has a provision where gambling advertisements appearing on search engines must make it clear that they are for those aged 18 and above, and must include safer gambling messages.