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TV gambling ads: What rules are in force

February 25, 2024

The gambling industry competition is stiff, so operators utilise all means to promote their platforms and increase customer engagement. Providing lucrative bonuses for new and regular players is a working tool; however, it’s often not enough to enhance brand recognition in the market.

Therefore, companies usually launch additional promotional campaigns to inform users of their services and conditions. In this case, TV ads are among the most efficient ways to promote minimum deposit casinos and attract new members.

Gambling companies can initiate special advertisements but must adhere to numerous rules and requirements to comply with responsible gaming policies.

Ads Regulatory Framework in the Context of Online Casinos

Gambling-related harm and the development of compulsive disorders are the primary challenges the entire industry now faces. Even though there’s no ban on casino advertisements, operators have to stick to multiple requirements set by regulatory bodies. TV commercials are considered highly effective in drawing in new members to licensed UK-based casinos allowing minimum deposits and various bonuses.

The Committees of Advertising Practice is the main body controlling all ads launched in the UK. According to local legislation, gambling companies can only release socially responsible promotions. By definition, these ads aim to attract players to online casinos, but they must be fair and inform viewers of potential pitfalls they can face when engaging in this entertainment.

The Advertising Standards Authority is another responsible organization ensuring transparency and fairness in gambling ads. This body pays special attention to preventing underage participation in iGaming activities and ensuring promotional campaigns don’t target those under 18. The regulation’s peculiarities are indicated in The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014.

Facts and Statistics

According to the UKGC reports, TV gambling advertisements regularly reach 6 of 10 viewers, which is a considerably high indicator. Moreover, most compulsive players coping with the disorder mentioned they returned to the activity due to the increased number of ads.

Gambling companies invest heavily in promoting their platforms on television and social media. It’s estimated that operators spend up to 15 per cent of all their marketing expenses on TV promotional campaigns.

Key Principles of the UK Advertising Codes

Advertising casinos and bookmakers on TV is not prohibited in the UK and many other countries. However, gambling operators must comply with numerous requirements to ensure their promotional campaigns won’t negatively affect viewers. It especially concerns underage individuals who are more vulnerable to threats. Look at the main advertising codes’ principles that should be met to avoid fines and penalties.

Protecting Children and Vulnerable Individuals

It’s required for gambling ads to be made in such a way that they are unattractive to minors. Such an approach aims to decrease underage individuals’ interest in playing casino games and placing sports bets.

Gambling companies should ensure their advertisements don’t have a strong appeal to the younger generation. For instance, engaging famous athletes may seem an effective way to attract an audience, but it may be too attractive for the underage.

Promoting Responsible Gambling Practices

Despite the allure, casino games and betting on sports events are risky and can often lead to losses. Therefore, gambling companies should encourage users to play responsibly and plan their budgets. Promoting a responsible approach to this entertainment should be the key point in casino ads.

Ensuring Ads Are Fair and Truthful

Informing viewers of all the conditions the operator offers is mandatory in its promotional videos on TV. Some casinos were fined for misleading potential customers by stating that their services are free, which is far from the case.

Therefore, ads should indicate that playing for real money requires investments and highlight the conditions of bonus usage for users to have realistic expectations.

Restrictions on Content

As already mentioned, gambling ads should be fair and transparent. Operators should stress the importance of responsible play instead of glamorizing the activity by only highlighting its benefits. Moreover, the link from the ad should lead users to the page with safer gaming rules, after which they can join the chosen platform.

Time and Placement Restrictions

Reports indicate that gambling and betting ads can take up to 20 per cent of screen time during TV broadcasts. Therefore, it’s barely impossible for viewers not to notice them. However, responsible authorities require operators to add information on safer gaming (it should take no less than 20 per cent of the entire promotional campaign).

Responsible Messaging Requirements

Understandably, all reliable iGaming market players aim to ensure transparency and provide potential customers with responsible gambling rules. Therefore, every ad launched on TV should contain further details on tools to comply with these requirements and identify compulsive behaviours.

Impact on Society and Public Opinion

Socially responsible promotional campaigns increase customer awareness of gambling-related harms and encourage users to be attentive in online casinos and sportsbooks. The higher popularity of this aspect motivates potential players to accept a responsible approach and maintain healthy habits.

Even though the practicality of gambling advertisements is still debated, it’s still a way to inform users of possible harms and decrease the number of addicted individuals in the UK and beyond.

The Final World

Gambling ads on TV are pretty controversial, but they are not banned. However, operators promoting their services must comply with numerous requirements to prevent underage gambling and minimize harm to those engaged in risky entertainment.

Promotional campaigns should be fair and indicate valid conditions for potential players to know what awaits them and be realistic concerning their future experiences. Moreover, it’s mandatory to devote 20 per cent of ads to educating viewers on responsible gaming to increase their awareness.

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Games

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