TV adverts for online casino games, slots games and bingo will now not be broadcast on UK television or radio until at least 6th June.
The move has been made voluntarily by those operators who are members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and will come into force by Thursday 7th May, earlier if feasibly possible.
Adverts will either be removed altogether, or where that is not possible due to contractual reasons, a responsible gambling message will replace the previous ad.
The voluntary ban does not extend to sports advertising at the moment but this will be reviewed by the group when major sporting action in UK and the rest of the world begins again after widespread suspension.
In conjunction with this move, members of the BGC will also increase the volume of responsible gambling messages shown online via the websites of the bookmakers involved.
The measures have been put forward whilst coronavirus restrictions are in place amid concerns that there will be an increase in instances of problem gambling whilst members of the public are spending the majority of their time at home due to restricted movement and other safety measures.
Who Are the BGC?
The BGC is an association that represents both online gambling operators and traditional betting shops and casinos.
Around 90% of the gambling industry in the UK, not counting the Lottery, is represented by the council, who agree and set out measures to make betting and gaming safer. This includes making sure all involved meet the three licensing objectives of protecting children and vulnerable people, keeping the betting industry crime free and ensuring members operate in a fair and transparent manner.
Earlier in the month the BGC absorbed the responsibilities of the Senet Group which was formed by a consortium of leading High Street bookmakers in 2014 to standardise compliance practise.
Schemes introduced included the Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme (MOSES) and the ad campaign advising ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’.
During the current pandemic, the BGC has seen it as crucial that the highest safety measures are adhered to by all involved in the industry, including creating their own 10-point pledge. Chief executive Michael Dugher stated on the BGC website:
“Increasing safer gambling measures with more monitoring and customer interventions, stepping up safer gambling messages and measures like promoting deposit limits, together with a tough crackdown on affiliates and calling out rogue black-market operators, will make a big difference. We are also signposting professional help and are committed to funding Research, Education and Treatment (RET).”