ASA remains ‘confident’ over UK gambling advertisement rules

ASA remains ‘confident’ over UK gambling advertisement rules

Monday, December 15, 2014 Totally Gaming

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reiterated its confidence over the current rules in place for gambling advertising in the UK and that such measures are effective in helping protect young people and the vulnerable from harm.

The comments come after the two self-regulatory bodies that write and maintain the UK Advertising Codes published a new report in which they claimed that gambling advertising has a “limited” effect on young people and problem gambling behaviour.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) Gambling Review was conducted in response to a request by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which maintains overall responsibility for the regulation of gambling in the UK.

The report found that despite a heavy increase in the amount of gambling advertisements since the Gambling Act 2005 came into effect, existing regulations that were put in place to protect the vulnerable are still satisfactory.

Findings in the report show the two key indicators of gambling-related harm – underage participation and problem gambling – are at low levels and that trends suggest these have been in decline since 2007, a period in which the volume of gambling advertising has significantly grown.

Hannah Law, press and public affairs assistant at ASA, told TotallyGaming.com that the organisation remains confident about the rules that are currently in place regarding gambling advertising.

“After carefully assessing the evidence we’re confident that our existing content and placement rules that apply to gambling ads are protecting the young and the vulnerable from harm,” Law told TotallyGaming.com.

“The best available evidence suggests the impact of gambling advertising, both on problem gambling and under age participation is limited.

“Gambling advertising is subject to strict rules to ensure it’s promoted responsibly. The rules reflect the law which views gambling as a legitimate leisure activity that can be undertaken safely.

“We can’t comment on whether there is too much, not enough or just the right amount of gambling advertising. We can only act if an ad is in breach of the rules. The ASA will continue to act quickly and effectively to ban the small handful of gambling ads that breach the rules.”

The report also highlighted the importance of remaining vigilant over gambling advertising in order to protect the vulnerable and for the industry adopt a wider understanding of gambling-related harms.

The joint review stated: “We welcome the call for continuing vigilance and more methodologically advanced research in this important area and will continue to work pro-actively to ensure the UK Advertising Codes continue to set the necessary level of restriction to ensure gambling advertising remains responsible.”

Law also supported this finding and said that the ASA will continue to work with advertisers in order to continue working to an agreed responsible advertising strategy.

“We commit to working pro-actively to ensure the Codes continue to set the necessary level of restrictions to ensure gambling advertising remains responsible,” Law said. “One of the ways we are doing this is by producing enhanced guidance for advertisers to help them comply with the rules.”

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