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CAP publish new guidance on gambling advertising

Standards focus on problem gambling and new standards have been introduced for “free bets and bonuses”.

“The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has introduced tighter advertising standards with particular focus on adverts which appeal to problem gamblers.

The standards have been outlined via two guidance documents from CAP.

1. The new standards for advertisers of free bets and bonuses came into effect on 14th February 2018.

The new standards detailed for free bets and bonuses include:

  • “Significant T&Cs likely to affect a consumer’s understanding of a promotion must be prominent in all advertising and positioned close to the headline offer.
  • Advertisers’ own websites and emails are not limited by time and space and the full terms and conditions for offers should be easily accessible. In limited space media, less significant T&Cs can be one click away.
  • “Money back” offers must be in cash, not bonuses.
  • “Risk free” offers must incur no loss to the consumer.
  •  “Matched bets” – any stake limitation should be treated as a significant condition and stated up front.”

2. The Gambling Advertising: responsibility and problem gambling guidance includes the below key provisions and these new standards will come into effect on 2nd April 2018.

  • “Restrict ads that create an inappropriate sense of urgency like those including “Bet Now!” offers during live events;
  • Curb trivialisation of gambling (e.g. encouraging repetitive play);
  • Prevent approaches that give an irresponsible perception of the risk or control (e.g. “Risk Free Deposit Bonus”);
  • Provide greater detail on problem gambling behaviours and associated behaviours that should not be portrayed, even indirectly;
  • Prevent undue emphasis on money-motives for gambling; and
  • Provide more detail on vulnerable groups like problem gamblers that marketers need to work to protect.”

The Gambling Commission has welcomed the new standards in a statement  on its website which includes the following quote from Ian Angus, the Gambling Commission Programme Director:  “…We expect gambling businesses to review the new guidance now and adjust any marketing and advertising accordingly. We support any enforcement activity by the ASA against operators who do not comply, and will not hesitate to take our own action against those who do not take their responsibilities seriously.”

For further information on this or any other legal related gambling issues contact solicitor Richard Bradley 0115 953 8500.

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