A guide to casino advertising laws

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What are the regulations that casinos need to abide by in order to remain compliant and retain their licenses? 

Gambling product ads are required to be undertaken in a ‘socially responsible manner’ and all operators need to be compliant with the UK Advertising Codes created by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

But what exactly does this mean in reality? Based on the watchdog for the sector, the Gambling Commission’s regulations,  we take a look at the main things that casino operators need to take into consideration regarding what they can or can’t advertise.

  • Marketing should be transparent and not mislead customers
  • Digital gambling adverts must be responsibility placed 
  • Marketing should not include a young person under 25 years old in a significant role in the ad
  • Commercial deals with sport clubs are compliant of sponsorship rules and regulations
  • Gambling adverts should not be appealing to under 18s

Marketing transparency

One of the main aspects operators need to consider is ensuring their advertisements are open and transparent and do not have the potential to mislead potential customers.

For example, the main terms and conditions for each marketing incentive need to be made completely transparent and available for the length of the casino promotions. They must appear prominently to consumers.

Responsible placement of digital ads

As a casino operator, it is extremely important to not place adverts online on sites that provide unauthorised access to copyright infringed content. Doing so could lead you to lose your operating license outright.

To ensure that you remain compliant, the Commission encourages gambling companies to sign up to access the Infringing Website List (IWL) which is owned by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

This online portal provides details of copyright-infringing websites, allowing operators to stop digital ads on these websites.

Marketing should avoid using young people under 25

Gambling advertisements (including those on social media marketing promotions) should generally not include a child or a young person under 25 in a significant role.

Whilst there are some exceptions to these regulations, failing to abide by this ruling can lead to significant fines, or losing your operating license, so proceed with caution.

Sponsorship deals and gambling operators

It is required for all parties to be compliant with the relevant advertising sponsorship rules that apply in gambling communications. There are a number of regulations in force about this, including:

  • Licensees cannot promote their brand on the under 18s section of the club website
  • Logos or other promotional material may not appear on merchandise for children’s usage
  • Gambling logos are not allowed on kit or clothing for teams with players under the age of 18 (a requirement of the European Sponsorship Association as well as the Football Association)

Gambling ads must not appeal to under-18s

Gambling operators are prohibited from creating any advertisement that could appeal to young persons under the age of 18. For further details about age restrictions for gambling, it is highly recommended that you look at the CAP website.

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