Gambling ads on TV must show a responsible gambling message

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has released today an update to its Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, with operators to be forced to show responsible gambling messages alongside gambling adverts shown on UK television.

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Responsible gambling messages must be shown throughout adverts from June 2018. © Pexels.

The new terms will come into effect towards the end of June 2018 and will mean that all gambling adverts shown on TV must carry a message promoting responsible gambling throughout or refer viewers to the gambling charity, GambleAware.

This is the fourth edition of the industry code and will strengthen industry standards when it comes to advertising at a time of great scrutiny being placed upon the way operators advertise their products.

Currently, gambling adverts are only required to feature a responsible gambling message at any one point during a commercial. This has been criticised by both campaigners and regulators, with investigations finding the responsible gambling messages often received insufficient screen-time to be noticed by viewers.

The new terms will see this message shown throughout the entire duration of an advert.

Speaking about the new terms, John Hagan, chairman of the IGRG, said:

As part of a wider package of measures flowing from the Government’s review, we believe this change to the Industry Code will help to improve the overall tone and content of gambling adverts, especially on television, in a way that will help to raise awareness of the need to gamble safely and responsibly. In addition, we are happy to reiterate our commitment to review the Code on an annual basis in order to consider any emerging issues.John Hagan, IGRG Chairman

The IGRG consists of a number of industry trade associations and represents over 600 operators and 8,500 licensed premises throughout the gambling industry.

However, the update may not be particularly warmly welcomed by those campaigning for stricter gambling advertising standards. While the move is a step forward in displaying responsible gambling messages alongside the advertising of gambling products, it may be seen as too little by some, particularly when compared to Australia’s recent move to ban gambling adverts.

Earlier this month, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), announced a ban on betting advertisements during live sports taking place in daytime hours. That ban will come into effect at the end of the month.

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