Gambling Ads To Be Banned From Child-Friendly Websites Under New Rules

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Gambling advertisements have been banned from appearing on child-friendly websites and in video games under new rules from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).

Under the new rules, bookmakers and casino operators will be required to ensure that their online promotions and campaigns are not seen by anyone under the age of 18.

They will also be prohibited from placing an advertisement on websites popular with children, using a celebrity who appears under 25 to promote their brand and using social media influencers who are popular with children.

In a statement, Shahriar Coupal, the Director of the Committee of Advertising Practice, said: “Playing at the margins of regulatory compliance is a gamble at the best of times, but for gambling advertisers, it’s particularly ill-advised, especially when the welfare of children is at stake.

“Our new standards respond to the latest evidence and lessons from the Advertising Standards Agency rulings and require that greater care is taken in the placement and content of gambling ads to ensure they are not inadvertently targeted at under-18s.”

The rules will come into force on April 1, 2019.

A Crackdown on Gambling Ads

The news comes amid a heavy crackdown on gambling advertisements. Last December, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling confirmed a ban on gambling ads during live sports games following backlash over the number of advertisements aired during the 2018 World Cup.

More recently, gambling operator Tombola, the sponsor of ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, was banned from displaying gambling advertisements on the I’m A Celebrity smartphone app which was being used by under-18s.

However, Tombola argued that the ads were part of its wider sponsorship of the show and that ITV had worked with the firm to ensure the ads were “in line” with the show’s viewership. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) disagreed and imposed the ban on them.