The UK-licensed gambling companies are under the scanner of the regulators for the usage of advertising content which may affect children. A joint letter drafted by the Remote Gambling Association, Advertising Standards Authority, Committee of Advertising Practice and the UK Gambling Commission has been sent to UK-gambling operators.
A recent Sunday Times investigation unveiled the iGaming brands are resorting to child and teen-oriented content for endorsing their services. Some of the gambling websites are making use of characters like Jack and the Beanstalk and Peter Pan which can impact children.
The advertising and gambling regulatory entities urge these operators to get rid of freely accessible ads which can affect the mindset of viewers under 18 years with immediate effect. The UK gambling licensees will need to ensure their affiliates remove such provocative content from their websites.
The letter mentions that failure to adhere to the requirements will result in serious consequences. Earlier this year, BGO a gambling operator was slapped with a fine of £300,000 for featuring ambiguous advertising material on its website. It was also accused of not asking the affiliate partners to stop featuring similar advertisements on their websites. The UK Gambling Commission has hardened its stance on violation of gambling promotion norms.
The gambling operators have been asked to discard advertising content that may have an effect on children. In case of doubts on such ads, they can consult the CAP Copy Advice team- part of the Committee of Advertising Practice.
A UK Gambling Commission survey done in 2016 shows approximately 450,000 children in the UK resorted to gambling per week and this included teenagers too. As per the data, 3 percent of the interviewed candidates said they used their own money to gamble online and another 6 percent admitted they took money from their parents for the same purpose. The research also revealed the fact that private bets among friends, slot machine games and National Lottery scratchcards were top forms of gambling in the lot aged between 11 to 15 years.
As per ad at obtained from the UK Gambling Commission, rate of gambling in children is approximately 16%, and the rate has been same earlier. The gambling regulator is of the view about 9,000 children in the UK are afflicted with problem gambling behavior. Those within 11-15 years age range fall prey to gambling more than addictions like drinking and smoking.