The Committee of Advertising Practise (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) has published a newly updated version of the guidance on responsible and problem gambling, called “Gambling advertising: responsibly and problem gambling”.
The first version of the guidance was published in April 2018, with the sole purpose of assisting the rules of gambling advertising set out in the CAP and BCAP Codes.
The updated version came into force on 1 November 2021, implementing several changes that were proposed by CAP and BCAP earlier in 2021. The changes were made as part of CAP and BCAP’s consultation in response to the findings of the GambleAware Final Synthesis Report from 2020.
The aim of these updates is to make operators reconsider the way they advertise their businesses, which is why the new version of the guidance includes updates to the sections that deal with erroneous perceptions of risk and control, impulsiveness and urgency, and trivialization.
In terms of errors of risk and control perceptions, advertising that encourages social irresponsible behaviour, or behaviour that could lead to financial or emotional risk, was added to the list.
Ads that present complex bets or other gambling products in a way that focuses on the skill, knowledge or intelligence of the gamblers are now also included in this section.
In regard to impulsiveness and urgency, ads that present gambling as a way of participating in a community based on skill and ads that state or imply that offers (such as those involving money back, free bets or enhanced odds) can reduce risk, were also added to the list.
Adverts that make the players feel they need to participate in a gaming event as soon as possible (before the odds change) are also presented as an issue. Alongside this, the use of humour to play down the risks of gambling is seen as an impediment, as well as portraying unrealistic pictures of winners.
Overall, the updates to the guidelines do not introduce any new prohibitions, but operators are advised to consider the changes when planning and creating advertising content.