BGC Calls for Social Media Support to Protect Vulnerable Individuals from Gambling Ads

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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the single industry body for the UK gaming and betting sector, is seeking support from social media companies to help protect vulnerable individuals from gambling advertisements.

In a written statement addressed to the country's Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer MP, the BGC highlighted the need for collaboration between its members and social media platforms to safeguard self-excluded individuals and young adults from viewing gambling ads.

The surge in popularity of online gambling activities in recent years, coupled with the wide dissemination of gambling advertisements on social media platforms, has prompted concerns about the exposure of vulnerable groups to such content. Some users turned to iGaming during the temporary closures brought about by the pandemic, while others discovered online gambling options through advertising.

The BGC has expressed its commitment to protecting specific age groups from gambling ads and limiting advertising to individuals who have self-excluded via schemes like GAMSTOP. However, the Council emphasized that to effectively safeguard these consumers, it requires the support of social media platforms.

In its letter to the Culture Secretary, the BGC urged her to request collaboration between social media platforms and the Council. Such collaboration is expected to benefit the approximately 300,000 people who have already self-excluded. The BGC also endorsed a "marketing suppression scheme" that would prevent individuals registered with GAMSTOP from receiving gambling ads on social media platforms.

The BGC highlighted the importance of social media platforms cooperating to implement new measures for online advertisements. The Council emphasized that these efforts are being undermined by the platforms themselves.

The announcement from the BGC comes in the context of the upcoming Gambling Act White Paper, which is expected to introduce significant changes to the UK's gambling regulatory framework. In the meantime, BGC members have agreed to advertise and target audiences aged 25 and above unless platforms can provide evidence to verify their targeting accuracy for individuals over 18.

I would urge you to help on this matter by calling on social media platforms to finally cooperate with the BGC and make the relevant functionality available, so we can help protect the most vulnerable.

Michael DugherChief Executive at the BGC

Restricting advertisements from BGC members to audiences aged 25 and above would not be feasible without effective collaboration with social media platforms. Dugher stated that this collaborative approach is a sensible solution that BGC members are eager to implement. However, the cooperation of social media platforms is crucial to make it a reality.

The BGC remains committed to its mission of protecting problem gamblers and young people from the potential harms associated with gambling. By advocating for collaboration with social media platforms, the Council seeks to create a safer and more responsible gambling environment for all.

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