The Gambling Act 2005 came fully into effect on 1 September 2007. Under section 16 of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code, marketers should not exploit the young or vulnerable nor imply gambling can solve financial or personal problems or is indispensable, a rite of passage or linked with sexual success. All gambling ads must comply with the Code and the law. The Gambling Act does not apply outside Great Britain. Specialist legal advice should be sought when considering advertising any gambling products in Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands.
The Gambling (Licensing and advertising) Act 2014 will take effect on the 1st November 2014. It contains provisions relating to the licensing of gambling operators advertising or offering remote gambling facilities to consumers in the UK. We urge you to seek legal advice regarding the requirements of the act if you are unsure.
Spread betting may be advertised as an investment under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As well as FCA compliance, ads for spread betting need to comply with CAP Code Section 14, which covers financial products and requires marketers to ensure financial products are, for example, set out in a way that allows them to be understood easily by the audience being addressed. Since September 2007, spread betting ads must also comply with the Betting and Gaming section of the Code.
Since 1 September 2007, off-shore bookmakers offering offshore betting may advertise in Britain, provided they are licensed by the Gambling Commission or are based in an European Economic Area (EEA) country or in a jurisdiction that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has permitted to advertise gambling in the UK (‘white listed’).
Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s Advice Online entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.
Related: Betting and gaming: General
How can we help!
We are aware that sometimes whether something is of particular appeal to under-18s can be nuanced – therefore, marketers are welcome to get a view from our Copy Advice team which provides pre-publication advice on advertising at any stage.