The Betting and Council (BGC) has established a cross-industry ‘Ad Tech Forum’ to provide UK online gambling incumbents with the best technical guidance and oversight for protecting children and vulnerable audiences from gambling harms.
The forum sees the BGC place technology at the forefront of its governance duties, as tech giants Meta, Twitter, Google and Snap will work with BGC members to develop new ways to protect audiences, including ‘how data can be used to improve the age accuracy of industry advertising’.
The new directive will support the mandatory measures and commitments brought in by the BGC’s Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.
Enforced at the start of 2021, BGC members must ensure that all sponsored or paid for social media adverts are targeted at those aged +25 – unless it can be proved the adverts meet a standard of age targeting verified by an agreed third party.
Further requirements have ensured that gambling ads appearing on search engines must make clear that products are for those aged 18-plus, while the adverts themselves must include safer gambling messages
The Advertising Association has backed the BGC’s Ad Tech Forum directive, as trade body CEO Stephen Woodford commented: “We welcome the proactive work by the gambling industry with tech platforms and advertising bodies. It is essential that gambling ads online and in social media meet the highest standards of social responsibility.”
The BGC continues to underline UK gambling’s commitment to improved targeting and age-gating that has seen “the proportion of young people taking part in any form of gambling has fallen from 23%in 2011 to 11% in 2019”.
Last week, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher called on MPs to place child protection at the front and centre of the forthcoming gambling white paper that will deliver the industry’s generational changes.
“I am delighted that the BGC has been able to co-ordinate the Ad Tech Forum, which I’m sure will come up with new ways of protecting young people and the vulnerable online,” Dugher stated.
“Since being set up two years ago, we have worked tirelessly to drive up standards and promote safer gambling, and this is proof of our determination to go even further.”
Dugher underlined that irrespective of white paper outcomes, the BGC would maintain its founding pledge to ensure that UK becomes the safest gambling marketplace for all age-groups.