The industry has had its own Code for Socially Responsible Advertising since 2007, which supplements the rules produced and administered by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP).
This requires, for instance, the inclusion of ‘18+’ and ‘gambleaware.co.uk’ in all our adverts, not advertising products such as casino games before the commonly accepted watershed of 9.00 pm and avoiding magazines that have a significant under 18 readership.
At the Government’s request, reviews of gambling advertising were conducted by the industry, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), CAP and BCAP. The ASA commissioned an independent research agency to look into the public’s views on gambling advertising. This research, published in October 2014, revealed that people are satisfied with the way gambling advertisements are regulated and approve of how the rules are applied. This was reinforced in December when CAP and BCAP published a report on their review, concluding that gambling advertising has a limited effect on young people and problem gambling behaviour.
In March 2014, the main trade associations for five of the six sectors of the gambling industry (excluding lotteries) – LBOs, bingo, casino, online gambling and amusements – formally came together to establish the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) to provide a structure for promoting socially responsible gambling initiatives. Having completed its own review, the IGRG voluntarily committed to extend the code as of 1 January 2015 to include a ban on sign-up offers for new customers on television before the evening watershed.
The ABB members have also voluntarily committed to a ban on all gaming machine advertising in shop windows and to give 20% of all window advertising space over to responsible gambling messages. During GambleAware Week, promotional displays in shop windows were entirely given over to promoting responsible gambling, replacing all product offerings.