February 18, 2021
Concerns that football clubs’ posts on social media platforms such as Twitter are being used to advertise gambling and circumvent the strict advertising rules preventing gambling being advertised to under 18s have led the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to update their code of conduct.
Under the new code, promotional wording or links to gambling websites are prohibited from appearing in organic tweets (those tweets from an account which are devoid of official ads or promotions) from clubs who are BGC members. The BGC is writing to the Premier League and the English Football League so they can highlight the rules for clubs, and also encourage the leagues to apply the rules to clubs who are not BGC members.
The BGC will also send a separate letter to Twitter and Facebook calling on them to introduce age-gating for all social media accounts to ensure that organic posts which include gambling ads can only be seen by over 18s.
Chairman of the BGC Brigid Simmonds said:
“Football clubs are an important part of the sporting fabric of this country, followed by millions of all ages on social media.
“Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on Twitter.
“Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible.”
Last August, the BGC published the Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, which compels members to ensure all sponsored or paid social media adverts are targeted at over 25s if the social media platform cannot prove adverts can be precisely targeted at over 18s.
You can read the full BGC statement here.