Gambling ads to be banned from child-friendly websites in UK

From April 1st, gambling operators in the UK will have to make sure that they do not aim any individuals under the legal age of 18, as a ban has been imposed on the use of young celebrities and sports stars in advertising materials has been imposed. As revealed by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), the new requirements have been specially designed to protect children from irresponsible gambling advertising practices.

Gambling operators which operate on the territory of the UK will have to use every available targeting tool in order to make sure that their online ads and promotions are not accessed by people under the age of 18. What is more, bookmakers will also have to avoid placing gambling ads on social media and other websites which are found attractive by minors. Under the new standards, gambling operators will not be allowed to use animated or licensed characters known from film and television and celebrities who “appear to be” under the age of 25.

The rules will mean many well-known footballers will not be allowed to feature in gambling adverts because of their age, while bookmakers will also be banned from advertising with social media influencers who are popular with children.

“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,” said Shahriar Coupal, the CAP’s director. “Our new standards respond to the latest evidence and lessons from 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.”