Gambling advertising rules and regulations
Review of gambling advertising rules
A four strand review of gambling advertising, which sought to ensure that regulatory controls are properly examined, especially in relation to children and other vulnerable people, resulted in:
Permission to advertise gambling in Great Britain
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 requires that only gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission are permitted to advertise to consumers in Great Britain or provide them with remote gambling facilities.
Gambling operators wishing to advertise must comply with the advertising codes of practice which apply to the form and media in which they advertise their gambling facilities or services. This is a requirement of our ordinary code of practice provision for gambling operators as set out in LCCP.
We have produced a guide to gambling advertising codes which summarises the principal gambling advertising codes:
Sponsorship of British sporting clubs by foreign gambling operators
A number of British sports clubs have sponsorship deals with gambling providers. A short advice note on the gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising, particularly in regard to the branding of children’s replica kits has been published: Sponsorship of British sporting clubs by foreign gambling operators.
Gambling Advertising Monitoring Unit
The Gambling Advertising Monitoring Unit (GAMU) is a collaborative working forum (comprising DCMS, Gambling Commission, Ofcom, ASA, CAP & BCAP and PhonepayPlus) committed to working together to share information and address matters of concern.
Unwanted email and text message (SMS) marketing
Marketing companies are required to offer consumers the opportunity to opt out of receiving email and text message (SMS) marketing. Discover how to stop or complain about emails and text messages offering gambling products.
Young people in marketing material
As a general rule, marketing communications must not include a child or a young person (for the purposes of these rules, children are people of 15 and under and young persons are people of 16 or 17). No-one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role.
Individuals who are, or seem to be under 25 years old (18-24 years old) may be featured playing a significant role only in marketing communications that appear in a place where a bet can be placed directly through a transactional facility; for instance, a gambling operator’s premises or own website.
In all others instances, including social media, under 25s must not feature.
The rules for gambling (betting and gaming) advertising are clear and are set out in Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) (5.1.6), the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code – 16.3.14) and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code – 17.4.6).
CAP Gambling Consultation Regulatory Statement: Betting websites featuring individuals under the age of 25
Marketing of promotional offers, such as free bets and bonuses
As a general rule, conditions and factors which are likely to affect a consumer’s decision to participate in a promotion (such as - but not limited to – restricted odds and deposit, wagering and withdrawal requirements) must appear, with sufficient prominence, in the advert itself. Our advice would be: if unsure, include it. If time or space is genuinely limited (for example a small pop-up banner) then these conditions must be made available within one click.
LCCP social responsibility code provision 5.1.7 (Marketing of offers) requires that marketing material does not amount to or involve misleading actions or misleading omissions. It reinforces the existing rules set out by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP and BCAP).
These rules apply to all forms of marketing communications, including social media and affiliate marketing.
For more information:
Page last reviewed: August 2015