BGC announces new rules to limit social media gambling ads

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
BGC announces new rules to limit social media gambling ads
Ad Disclosure
We rely on our relationships with partner sites to keep our service free. We receive compensation from many of the brands featured on Online Bingo UK which may influence how we display them.

However, we only recommend brands that we believe are safe, fair and trustworthy. The commission we receive does not affect the impartiality of our content.

One of the UK’s gambling industry bodies, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has recently published a new set of rules that will prevent adverts for its members appearing on social media in an aim to prevent under-18s from being exposed to gambling media. This rule specifically applies to football clubs online, which one industry boss warns will hit gambling hard.

The new rules mean that football clubs will not be allowed to include calls to action or any links to gambling websites on non-promoted social media posts, which also includes bonus offers and odds.

Promoted posts however are exempt, as these can be targeted specifically towards adults and hidden from those under age.

The BGC has written to both the Premier League and the English Football League to make clubs aware of the rules and changes. “Football clubs are an important part of the sporting fabric of this country, followed by millions of all ages on social media,” BGC chairman Brigid Simmonds explained.

“Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on social media platforms.

“Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible,” he added.

The football clubs will also be encouraged to apply the same controls to their partnerships with operators that are not BGC members. 

Additionally, the industry body has requested Twitter and Facebook to implement age-gating for all gambling ads on their platforms. These look to have all social media ads for gambling to be targeted at those aged 25 and above where possible.

These changes follow a series of new marketing standards that were introduced last year, and were first agreed upon by a working group by a working group formed by the Gambling Commission and led by Sky Betting & Gaming in April 2020.