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Gambling: Social Media

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL3475, tabled on 27 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to either (1) restrict, or (2) ban, gambling advertising on social media.

Answered on

10 November 2021

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Gambling operators advertising online, including through affiliates, must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Gambling Commission may take enforcement action against them if they do not. The CAP consulted earlier this year on proposals to strengthen the codes and further limit the presence of gambling adverts for the protection of children and vulnerable people. Changes to safeguard vulnerable adults were announced this summer, and the full outcome is to be announced before the end of the year.

Following work with the Gambling Commission, the industry has also committed to make better use of advertising technology to target adverts away from children on social media. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising now requires operators to ensure paid-for advertising is targeted only at those over 25 years old on social media and to age-gate operator YouTube channels and content.

As part of our wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act 2005, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise, including on social media. A White Paper will be published in due course. The Government is also looking more broadly at how online advertising is regulated through the Online Advertising Programme, which will be launching a public consultation this year. Our aim is to foster fair, accountable and ethical online advertising that works for individuals, businesses and society as a whole.