Gambling companies that advertise to British consumers must abide by strict rules on the content and placement of ads, including that they must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s regulator for advertising and where it finds an ad to be in breach of its codes it will require the ad be amended or removed. If an advertiser fails to act on this warning, the ASA has a range of sanctions it can take, including Ad Alerts to the media, withdrawal of trading privileges, and mandatory pre-vetting. The ASA’s authority is underpinned in regulation of broadcast advertising by a statutory relationship with Ofcom and the Gambling Commission’s licence conditions and codes of practice require operators to comply with the advertising codes for all forms of gambling advertising. Serious and repeated breaches of the codes may lead to an operator being referred by the ASA to the Gambling Commission, which has the power to suspend or revoke licences and issue financial penalties.
The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. We continue to keep emerging evidence under review.