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Adverts that appeal to under 18’s

Regulators write to online operators re-iterating rules.

“A letter has been issued to operators with advice regarding the immediate amendment or removal of advertisements which appeal to under 18’s.The letter is signed jointly by The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), The Gambling Commission and The Remote Gambling Association (RGA).

The purpose of the correspondence is not to reflect any changes to the current regulations, but rather to reiterate current rules.

The signing organisations advise within the letter that operators are to act now and amend or remove immediately any advertisement’s which are likely to appeal to under 18’s and which are generally available to view. They highlight in particular freely accessible ads for play-for-free and play-for-money games, including all graphics and images displayed on a website or in any third party media including affiliate ads promoting a company and its products.

The letter refers to recent articles in the UK press about the freely accessible adverts on gambling operators websites that, by way of the images used, could be considered to be appealing to under 18’s.

The CAP Code states:

  • Marketing for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.
  • Marketing and communications must not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture

The following guidance is also provided within the letter:

“An ad is considered to have “particular appeal to children or young persons” if it is deemed likely to appeal more to under 18’s than over 18’s. The use of particular colours, cartoon and comic book images, animals, child-and-youth-orientated references and names of games such as “Piggy Payout”, “Fluffy Favourites”, “Pirate Princess” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” are likely, alone or in combination, to enhance appeal to under 18’s.””

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