Advertising/marketing rules and regulations
Operators should refer to LCCP Code of practice provision 5 (Marketing) for the full set of code provisions relevant to marketing and advertising.
LCCP: Ordinary code 5.1.6 (Compliance with advertising codes)
The advertising of gambling products and services should be undertaken in a socially responsible manner and you should comply with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
For media not explicitly covered you should apply the principles included in these codes of practice as if they were explicitly covered.
You should pay particular attention to the following section of the codes:
UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP Code)
UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code)
For free and paid-for advice on making your ads compliant with the Codes you can contact CAP’s Copy Advice team.
Gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising
You should comply with the Gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising which is administered by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG). This code is designed to supplement the CAP and BCAP codes by providing minimum industry standards in a limited number of related areas.
Gambling ads of particular appeal to under-18s
The CAP Code requires that marketing communications for gambling must not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture, particularly if they are generally available to view by them (‘freely accessible’). You therefore need to take care with the imagery and wording used in ads for gambling products or games. Read more about how the ASA views this type of content.
Following on from the joint letter to remote operators and CAP’s Webinar, a series of Q&As have been published which provide further clarity and advice on how to ensure that your ads do not have particular appeal to under 18s.
Advertising and sponsorship in sport
We expect licensees to ensure that when agreeing commercial deals with sports clubs, that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations. These include provisions contained within LCCP, the UK Advertising Codes, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising and sport governing body rules.
- The UK Advertising Codes contain strict rules on the content, targeting and placement of gambling adverts. For example, licensees should ensure that their brand is not being promoted via the junior sections of clubs’ websites.
- The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising requires that licensees do not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising (eg replica shirts) which is designed for use by children.
- The European Sponsorship Association and the Football Association require that in the case of teams comprising players all under the age of 18, that gambling logos do not appear on any item of kit or clothing.
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. CAP Gambling Consultation Regulatory Statement: Betting websites featuring individuals under the age of 25.
Marketing of offers
LCCP: Social responsibility code 5.1.7 (Marketing of offers)
It is a condition of your Gambling Commission licence that your marketing communications, including those for free bet and bonus promotions, do not mislead. This applies to marketing across all forms of media, issued by you or your affiliates.
You must abide by any relevant provision of the CAP or BCAP code and follow the CAP and BCAP Guidance on the rules for gambling advertisements.
Significant conditions or limitations must always be prominently displayed within the main body of an advert. Eligibility restrictions, deposit requirements, the detail of wagering requirements, restricted odds/games, and withdrawal limits are likely to be considered significant. Our advice would be: if unsure, include it.
If time or space is genuinely limited (for example, a very small pop-up banner on a third party website) then these conditions must be made available within one click.
Responsible placement of digital adverts
LCCP: Licence condition 16 (Responsible placement of digital adverts)
You must ensure that you do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content and must take all reasonable steps to ensure that third parties with whom you contract do similar.
The Infringing Website List (IWL), owned by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), is an online portal containing an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites. The aim of the IWL is that advertisers, agencies and other intermediaries can voluntarily decide to cease advert placement on these illegal websites.
You are encouraged to sign up to access the IWL. For more information please contact PIPCUIWL@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk
The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
You will often need a person’s consent before you can send them a marketing message. If you do need consent, then – to be valid – consent must be knowingly and freely given, clear and specific. You should keep clear records of what a person has consented to, and when and how you got this consent, so that you can demonstrate compliance in the event of a complaint.
You are not absolved from responsibility if direct e-marketing is sent by an affiliate with whom you have a financial or contractual relationship. As the ‘instigator’ of the marketing message you are responsible for complying with PECR.
Further guidance can be found on the ICO’s website: