The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the British government’s policies aimed at protecting young people and children from gambling, including raising the National Lottery age limit.
Of the methods of gambling most used by young people, the trade body detailed, none were offered by BGC members. These methods include scratchcards – which are not stocked on retail betting shops or in casinos – as well as personal bets between groups of friends, fruit machines and private card games.
“Contrary to what some people suggest, the gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising has strict rules, meaning betting operators’ logos can’t appear on children’s merchandise including replica football kits,” the organisation detailed.
“All social media adverts must be targeted at over 25s, unless the website can prove that accurately reaching over 18 One Search Engine ads most likely they’re 18 Plus, and include safer gambling messages.”
The BGC has also reiterated the success of its whistle-to-whistle ban on advertising, which has seen the number of TV betting commercials seen by children reduced by 97%.
Additionally, retail betting staff have been more successful in preventing underage gambling in their venues, with the number of betting shops passing spot checks for identifying underage customers rising from 67% to 91% over a 10 year period.
In turn, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that the number of young people who admitted to betting in the previous week fell from 23% in 2011 to 11% in 2019.
The BGC continued: “We want to do more to protect young people at VGC we’re committed to driving change and raising standards, it’s one of the reasons why the regulated betting and gaming industry is a safer bet.”
By describing the regulated sector as a ‘safer bet’, the organisation was reiterating its warnings to the government and gambling regulators at the potential implications of extensive oversight of the industry, which many operators believe could lead to customers increasingly turning to black market operators.