CAP bans use of celebs to advertise gambling

  • Updated
  • By Max Wright
Celebrities banned from gambling ads
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The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) has introduced new rules surrounding gambling advertising, banning the use of celebrities, sports stars and social media influencers who may appeal to under-18s. These new rules will need to be followed by October of this year.

The power of celebrity has been used to peddle new casino sites for a long time. Jackpotjoy famously featured Paddy McGuinness, Verne Troyer was the face of BGO before his tragic death, and Heart Bingo currently uses X-Factor runner up Olly Murs’ face on all its marketing. Olly might want to update his CV over the summer.

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These new advertising rules will also ensure adverts don’t reflect youth culture, which also includes the banning of references to video games or any activity that is popular to under 18s. Online Casino Site Slotnite Casino may have to undergo some branding changes, as Fortnite’s popularity with kids continues.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said: “By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

What’s not clear is: who determines that a celebrity appeals to under 18s? For example, Love Island’s Chris Hughes is primarily known for starring in a  late-night show that features sexual content, so why does he appeal to under 18s? Should he lose his Coral Racing gig?

On the flip side, Bingo All Stars’ entire gimmick hinges on the use of celebrities, including 90’s TV star Mr Motivator. Sure, he’s probably not known to the current generation of under 18s, but with his colourful outfits and proximity to kids TV (Mr Motivator warned kids not to try the stunts pulled off in Power Rangers at home) it could be argued that he still appeals to the younger generation?

Where do these new changes stand on using children to advertise gambling to over 18s? This year's Cheltenham festival coverage on ITV featured an 11 year old child discussing a bet he made by proxy, and had him discussing the features of horses as odds for the next race flashed up on screen. I think these CAP needs to be clear on these rules if they are going to properly reduce the harm that these adverts can cause.