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.
Marketing communications for non-gaming events or facilities that are in the same complex as, but separate from, gambling events or facilities do not need to comply with the CAP gambling rules, provided they do not portray or refer to gambling. But ads for non-gambling leisure facilities that refer to separate gambling facilities (for example, as part of a list of facilities on a cruise ship) must comply with the CAP gambling rules. Marketers of, say, a hotel complex that includes a casino have to decide whether they want to list the casino so as not to mislead by omission (some readers might consider it a significant factor in deciding whether to book a holiday there) and include it in the list of on-site amenities. If they do, the ad will become subject to section 16. Also, ads for non-gambling events or facilities that can be accessed only by entering gambling premises should make that condition clear.
Ads for entertainment centres, travelling fairs, horse racecourses and dog race track and for non-gambling leisure facilities that incidentally refer to gambling facilities may include children or young persons provided they are accompanied by an adult and are socialising responsibly in areas that the Gambling Act 2005 does not restrict by age.
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.