UK Gambling Operators Face Stricter Advertising Regulations

Gambling companies appear on our screens quite a lot these days, as they look to bring in new players. This has led to more action from the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), as they want to ensure that gambling operators are advertising themselves in a responsible way.

Enhancements to the Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising

Social responsibility is a hot button issue for operators at the moment, as the industry wants to be seen as self-policing. This means that they want to hold themselves to a standard, rather than an outside body getting involved as much. This gives the industry power over their own regulations to an extent, which is better for everyone involved.

The enhancement to this code was brought in last month and means that all television adverts will need to have a responsible gambling message included. The code enhancement comes into effect in June of this year, but many operators have chosen to get involved early to work on their own compliance.

What is a Responsible Gambling Message?

A responsible gambling message is a pretty vague term, but it can include anything from warning people of the dangers of gambling to telling them what to do if they feel they have an issue. This is a good thing for the industry to do, as there are people out there that really struggle with gambling.

Information and links to Be Gamble Aware can also be included as a responsible gambling message. This charity helps those that have come to terms with a gambling addiction, so links to their site can be helpful.

Who are the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling?

The IGRG is a group of those within the industry that want to improve it for all involved. These are a mixture of operators, legal advisors and ombudsmen that can weigh in on the latest industry revelations. They put out a code, which is voluntary to follow, for online casino operators in the UK.

With this latest change, operators should be including these messages in the height of the World Cup frenzy. This will probably lead to quite a bit of scrutiny from Advertising Standards, as the number of adverts will be on the rise too.

The Motivations

When asked about the change, the IGRG chairman John Hagan stated that the new code will mean that adverts will be improved in terms of tone and content. This will mean that the promotional tone of the adverts will be measured out a bit by the real content underneath.

They also want to raise awareness for the charities and resources that are out there. By normalising seeking out information, more people may feel comfortable in doing so. Gamble Aware is currently funded by those in the industry that want to help anyone that could have been affected by irresponsible gambling at some point in their life.

This charity is also seeking out more awareness with a new advertising campaign that will bring more attention to their work. For many with a gambling addiction, they don’t know where to turn, so awareness of this charity can make a big difference.

They’ve also been cracking down on advertisers that could potentially appeal to children too. This is in an effort to curb underage gambling too, as this is another area of concern for the ASA to tangle with.

We may see more advertisers choosing to promote these messages during the summer, so keep an eye on your screens. We wonder if this will potentially change the tone of these messages overall, it will be interesting to see how these companies promote while spreading awareness too.