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CAP Cracks Down on Child Friendly Gambling Ads

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The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced a new crackdown on gambling ads that appeal to children, with the launch of a new set of standards.

The new rules will come into effect from April 1, and will impose a range of new requirements on gambling companies, particularly when it comes to online gambling. The changes follow a rise in public and political concern about the extent of gambling among young people, fuelled by a recent study that showed up to 450,000 children aged 11 to 16 in the UK gamble regularly. The CAP has also recently carried out a review of the impact of advertising on children, and their new rules are aimed at protecting children from ads that might encourage them to gamble.

When the new standards come into effect, all gambling operators will have to make sure that when they work with social media influencers, a majority of the influencers’ audience is over the age of eighteen. Gambling companies will also be unable to use celebrities who appear to be under the age of twenty-five in any of their promotions, and the use of licensed or animated characters, drawn from film or television, in gambling advertising, will also be outlawed.

In carrying out their review, the CAP came across a number of examples of ‘child-friendly’ advertising that had drawn complaints, including promotions for Coral’s Lucky Wizard game, a William Hill advertisement in a Mario Kart app, and an online casino site that included animated versions of fairy tale characters Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

Speaking about the new rules, the CAP’s regulatory policy executive Andy Taylor said that while the industry was well aware of the importance of not targeting children, it was important that the rules were underlined, particularly in new media:

What we want to see is the rules which have applied for a considerable period of time in traditional media, being applied in the online space effectively.”

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