Gambling: Marketing

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 20 March 2024.

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Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Scottish National Party, Inverclyde

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that gambling operators comply with codes of practice relating to content marketing.

Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Scottish National Party, Inverclyde

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential implications for her policies on gambling advertisements of the findings on the relative appeal of gambling content marketing to children and those over the age of 25 in the report by the University of Bristol entitled What are the odds? The appeal of gambling adverts to children and young persons on twitter, published in October 2021.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

In our approach to gambling advertising, we have struck a balanced and evidence-led approach which tackles aggressive advertising that is most likely to appeal to children, while recognising that advertising is an entirely legitimate commercial practice for responsible gambling firms.

In April last year, HM Government published a White Paper on gambling which outlined a comprehensive package of reforms to make gambling safer following an exhaustive assessment of the evidence, including on gambling advertising. We concluded that further action on advertising was needed, which is why we and the Gambling Commission are introducing measures to tackle the most aggressive and harmful advertising practices by preventing bonuses being constructed and targeted in harmful ways, giving customers more control over the marketing they receive, and introducing messaging about the risks associated with gambling.

This supplements the already robust rules in place to ensure that gambling advertising is socially responsible and that it cannot be targeted at or strongly appeal to children. This includes specific licence conditions for operators, including the requirement to abide by the UK Advertising Codes, which further regulate how gambling operators advertise. The UK Advertising Codes were strengthened in 2022, with new protections for children and vulnerable adults.

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