The ASA Released New Gambling Guidance

Viktor Vangelov | Published 15 Feb 2019, 1:41 p.m.

UK regulatory bodies – the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have been pretty active in the past year, but it seems that they intend to be even busier in 2019. The ASA have just released a new gambling guidance aimed at protecting children and young people. Earlier this year we wrote on the intention of the UK Government to tackle problem gambling.

The new guidance is not yet in force, its provisions will become a legal requirement for all UK operators from the 1st of April this year. In addition to the Guidance document, the ASA also published two annexes and the statement should be taken into consideration in conjunction with the annexes.

Measures To Ensure Ads Don’t Target Under 18s

One of the main changes introduced in the new guidance is that gambling companies won’t be permitted to publish ads on websites, games and other platforms that are popular with minors. The aim is to stop underage and irresponsible gambling.

Bookmakers and casino operators will have to take extra measures to ensure that their ads and promotions aren’t seen by people who are under 18. Banners and other types of gambling ads shouldn’t appear on websites or parts of websites that are popular with minors. Celebrities and other people who look under 25 can’t be featured in gambling marketing promotions.

The ASA feel that the existing standards need to be clarified, so that operators will be aware of their obligations. This will definitely change the way bookmakers market their products, as footballers and other athletes who are or appear to be under 25 will no longer be featured in betting ads.

Operators will need to use all tools that are at disposal in order to ensure that their promo materials aren’t targeting people who are under 18.

Particular attention will be paid to computer games, as there is a worry that gambling ads are featured in computer games that are popular with children. The ASA have already banned Coral ads that featured animated images that have an appeal to children. A William Hill ad was also banned.

Gambling operators voluntarily agreed to ban advertised during sports programmes that are aired before the watershed. But even with this voluntary ban children will still be able to watch gambling related ads while watching football, as many teams are sponsored by gambling operators.

Gambling Bill Up For Vote In The Netherlands

The bill was supposed to be voted on this week, but it was rescheduled for the 19th of February. Dutch senators are supposed to vote on the Remote Gambling Bill and if their response is positive, the Dutch market will finally be regulated. Currently, online gambling operators are present in the country, but the market is unregulated.

The country’s justice minister submitted his response to the questions posted during the debate in the Senate. Most Senators were satisfied with the Minister’s response, but some feel that he needs to be more specific on some of the issues.

One of the issues that will be further debated is the Government’s plan to set a two-year cooling off period on operators who targeted players from the Netherlands while gambling still wasn’t regulated. The authorities will conclude that players were actively targeted if their sites were available in Dutch and the site accepted iDEAL payments, considering that iDEAL is a very popular banking option in the Netherlands.