BGC pledges to maintain momentum on protecting young people and and promoting safer betting

Just one day after the Gambling Commission published findings from new research that has explored “the gambling journeys and behaviours of young people and adults aged 16 to 30” and one day before the new football season kicks off, the Betting and Gaming Council has pledged to “maintain the momentum” on protecting young people and promoting safer betting.

In its website posting published today (6 August 2021), the BGC states:

The first round of matches in this season’s English Football League take place this weekend, with the Premier League beginning a week later.

To coincide with the start of the new season, the BGC is highlighting the steps its members have already taken to raise standards around betting adverts since being established in 2019.

These include the whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting commercials from five minutes before a match begins until five minutes after it finishes, before the 9pm watershed.

According to a study by Enders Analysis, this has led to a 97 per cent reduction in the number of such ads seen by children at those times.

The ban was also credited a fall of nearly 50 per cent in the number of betting commercials shown on ITV during Euro 2020, compared to the 2018 World Cup.

Earlier this year, the BGC introduced a code of conduct on the use of social media by football clubs.

Under the new rules, calls to action or links to gambling websites are not allowed on organic tweets on the social media feeds of football clubs. The code of conduct also bans any display of direct bonuses or odds on organic tweets which cannot be solely targeted at over-18s.

This is in addition to the updated Industry Code for Responsible Advertising, introduced last October, which is aimed at further preventing under-18s from seeing betting ads online.

BGC members must also adhere to strict advertising rules, including a ban on betting logos on children’s football kits.

Meanwhile, the regulated betting and gaming industry also provides vital financial support for football through sponsorship and advertising.

This includes £40m for the English Football League and its clubs, while Entain’s ‘Pitching In’ initiative helps to fund grassroots leagues.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said:

“The start of the new football season is an exciting time for fans across the country.

BGC members are proud to provide financial support in a variety of ways for the beautiful game, but it’s also important that we maintain the momentum when it comes to protecting young people from gambling harm.

Around 30 million people in Britain – half the population – enjoy a flutter, and the vast majority do so safely. According to the Government, the rate of problem gambling is 0.5 per cent and has been stable for the past 20 years.

But one problem gambler is one too many, so we will step up our work on protecting young people and providing help for those experiencing harm.”

In a similar vein, on 13 August 2021, GambleAware announced the return to TV, radio and digital of its Safer Gambling Campaign, Bet Regret. It will also feature out of home (OOH), inside and outside football stadiums, to align with the start of the new football season.

In its announcement GambleAware states:

As the new football season begins, GambleAware’s Bet Regret campaign is returning to ensure football fans adopt an important message of moderation, and avoid making risky or impulsive bets. With football fans back in stadiums again, GambleAware is using its Safer Gambling Campaign, Bet Regret, to continue encouraging its audience, of 18–34-year-old, younger male sports bettors, to ‘tap out’ before placing a bet:

This season, tap out, take a moment, avoid Bet Regret

To date, the campaign has consistently delivered high levels of awareness, with recognition averaging at over 60% amongst the broader target audience, rising to 75% amongst those in the highest risk band. The campaign has also proved successful in encouraging the campaign audience to ‘tap out’, with 38% of the campaign audience saying they ‘try to tap out’ of their app before placing a bet and almost one in five (17%) saying they actively use ‘tapping out’ as a tool to cut down.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware said: 

“With the start of the football season and fans returning to stadiums, we must do all we can to encourage people to pause and consider before making a bet. With all public health campaigns, the biggest challenge is translating awareness and intentions into actions, which is why there is a continued need to promote behavioural nudges, such as ‘tap out’. So far, we have seen promising results from the campaign to date, with more people recognising and using ‘tapping out’ as a technique to moderate their betting.”

This next burst of Bet Regret activity will run from 14th August – 19th September 2021 and will appear on TV, radio, digital and out of home, including inside and outside of stadiums.