A new set of rules, released by the IGRG (Industry Group for Responsible Gambling) in the United Kingdom, clearly define how its members (online casinos licensed in the UK,) should conduct how they advertise themselves on television.
The decision to take this action made by the IGRG, came after the government raised concerns about online casinos finding loopholes to manipulate current laws in their advertising techniques used in television broadcasts.
Apparently, these new regulations will be included in the Gambling Industry Code Socially Responsible Advertising’s fourth edition, at the end of June. However, several rules already enforced pertain to integrating responsible gambling habits into gambling advertisements.
The main change made stating that all of the advertisements involving gambling broadcasted on television must include an easy to understand reference or message featured in the commercial pertaining to responsible gambling presented throughout the entire presentation.
What is The IGRG?
Since 2014 the IGRG has been operating. They consist of several gambling organizations that include the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and the Association of British Bookmakers. Their goal is to promote responsible gambling in various gambling sectors and utilize the gambling industry code as their main tool to do this.
The first edition of the Gambling Industry Code Socially Responsible Advertising introduced in 2007, primarily to focus on expanding regulations of the gambling industry advertising functions. Overseen by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority,) the Industry code was upgraded and extended after a government review took place that evaluated all aspects of advertising done by the Gambling industry.
In order to address important issues that emerge in a timely manner appropriately, the IGRG elected to review the code annually, starting this year.
These new television-advertising rules for Gambling associations are only a part of a bigger move-taking place, where measures are being taken to raise awareness of the importance of responsible and safe gambling by improving the quality of how gambling associations advertise and encourage gambling.
For many years, television has played a major role in advertising for gambling companies. In fact, in 2012 to 2015 licensed gambling associations in the UK spent nearly £456 million just to advertise on British television alone, according to a Nielson report in 2016.
A recently released report by UK’s Gambling Commission shows that even though people currently watch less television, gambling advertisements’ still find ways of reaching children and individuals who are weak to gambling attractions. The report also shows that nearly 80 percent of children between the ages of 11 through 16 have seen an advertisement for gambling and 29 percent see close to one ad every week.
Since gambling advertisements have a tendency to allure people who are vulnerable to gambling, including children, Anti-gambling campaigners suggest the complete banning of all gambling advertisements with no exceptions.
Therefore, the rule that allows gambling advertisements to be shown after 9 pm with the exception of during live sports events, would be banned altogether.