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October 2019: Industry Challenges

Phase one of the Gambling Commission’s Industry Challenge initiative, set at our industry briefing in October 2019.

  1. Contents
  2. Use of advertising technology
  3. Expert Group input to Commission thinking

Expert Group input to Commission thinking

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) provided input and steer to the Ad-Tech Working Group. They welcomed the commitments, which are likely to help inform ongoing work to update CAP’s guidance on online advertising and targeting.

Attendees at the Experts by Experience event were supportive of the aims of the AdTech Challenge. However, as engagement has continued, they have expressed much more concern about the volume and content of advertising across other media, including sport sponsorships. In summary, Experts by Experience attendees feel that:

  1. There needs to be a much better balance of ads and messages – fewer product ads and more gambling harm messages and stories. Attendees were very critical of ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’ campaign and believe that this should no longer be used but replaced with the gambling equivalent of “smoking kills”.
  2. There must be much stricter limits to ensure that children and those who have self-excluded in any way are not exposed to gambling adverts – until operators and platforms can guarantee this, then all general placements of online ads should be banned.
  3. Gambling harms awareness and safer play ads must be much tougher and not associated with any individual operator, which actually continue to promote a brand or company.
  4. There should be more ads to raise awareness of how to get help.
  5. There should be more promotion of blocking software, which should be available direct from any gambling site.
  6. Gambling-style Apps and games should be regulated.

Under current legislation we do not regulate social casino gaming. We have urged the social casino industry, and the platforms through they are accessed, to explore what steps they can take to ensure games that are described as “frequent and intense simulated gambling” do not result in gambling-style harms.

Analysis of the GamCare Forum survey showed support for relevant initiatives including:

  • introducing gambling ad ‘opt-outs’ on social media
  • reducing the number of online ads
  • improved use of cookie or interest targeting, to target ads away from vulnerable audiences
  • more information for the public about how they can limit their exposure to online ads.
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