BGC Publishes New Rules on Social Media Gambling Ads

The Betting and Gaming Council has issued new rules to members regarding the promotion of betting via football clubs social media accounts. The trade body has written to the Premier League to highlight new preventative guidelines.

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BGC Addresses Social Media Concern © Pixabay.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has addressed concerns that football club’s social media accounts could be used to circumnavigate strict rules on children viewing betting adverts online.

Several instances of gambling companies adverts appearing on football club’s Twitter feeds has led to the trade body producing a code of conduct to which members must adhere to.

Under the new BGC code of conduct, which comes into effect on 1st March 2021, calls to action will be barred on organic tweets on football clubs’ social media feeds. Gambling companies are also prevented from linking to their websites via tweets on organic tweets.

The rules also prevent the use of match odds or the promotion of bonuses on organic tweets that are not age-gated. The BGC state they have written to the Premier League and the English Football League (EFL) to introduce the new rules. The two associations will inform their members and urge those with commercial relationships with gambling companies that are not BGC members to follow the rules.

As the BGC is a trade body and not a regulatory entity, it doesn’t have any legal powers. However, with 80% of licenced operators members being members, the BGC has a powerful industry voice.

The BGC revealed on their website that they have written to both Twitter and Facebook, calling on them to introduce (or enforce if already in place) age restrictions, ensuring organic posts, which have gambling content, is only shown to age-verified accounts.

Code of conduct for partnered posts on football clubs’ social media accounts.

Organic Partnered Posts (non Age Gated)

  • No links or displaying of the website addresses for betting sites (text or graphic)
  • No direct bonus/ new customer acquisition offers (text or graphics)
  • No direct display of odds or using odds to promote site (text or graphic)
  • No calls to action (text or graphic)
  • 18+ and GambleAware messaging if brand image is used
  • Retweets from gambling accounts are forbidden

Organic Partnered Posts (Age Gated)

  • Post must include GambleAware and 18+ messaging
  • Age gating must be targeted at 25+ on platforms not whitelisted for 18+ targeting.

Football personality Gary Lineker was one of the loudest voices opposed to football clubs using their social media accounts to encourage gambling.

The Match of the Day host stated the Football Association was targeting the ‘wrong people’ after Kieran Trippier was banned from football for 10-weeks after sharing details of his impending transfer via a Whatsapp group. A few of his friends then placed successful bets on Trippier’s move to Atletico Madrid.

Shortly after Trippier’s verdict, Lineker posted a screenshot of his personal social media feed which promoted Parimatch UK, Leicester City’s official betting partner. The advert post urged fans to ‘Back the Foxes’ in betting markets.

Lineker, who started his career at Leicester, and played for them from 1978-1985, questioned why is it appropriate that his former club can promote gambling without consequences.

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