Government prompts multimillion campaign to promote responsible gambling

The gambling industry is to fund a £2m campaign to promote responsible gambling among young consumers, one of several announcements made by Government today (30 April) aimed at tackling excessive gambling. 

William Hill 460
Bookmakers such as William Hill will be subject to one of several measures announced by the Government to tackle excessive gambling.

Trade associations such as the British Bookmakers Association and Remote Gambling Association will likely be asked to fund and create the activity under direction from Government with a campaign planned for the summer.

Elsewhere, the Government will ask the industry to establish a “think 25” initiative, which is likely to require those working in betting shops to ask anyone who looks under 25 for ID in a similar way retailers have to challenge young people buying alcohol in supermarkets.

The measures were announced by the Government in a document proposing new “protections and controls”. There is concern 16-24 year-olds, which the Government says are most vulnerable to problem gambling, are being served an excess of gambling ads and gambling options online.

Further details of the scope of the review into the codes regulating gambling ads and their enforcement have also emerged.

Last month, the Government announced the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which writes the rules the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) enforces and the ASA would be asked to review rules on the content and scheduling of gambling ads. in order to avoid defeat of its Gambling Bill in The House of Lords

CAP says it will complete a review of its codes by the autumn and implement changes by the end of 2014. The review will be informed by the findings of a report by the Responsible Gambling Trust on problem gambling and its own data on complaints made about breaches of ad codes.

Meanwhile, the ASA says it will review whether it is reflecting “societal expectations” around gambling ads. Its review will also be completed by the autumn and changes implemented by the end of 2014.

Elsewhere the Government will hand local authorities greater powers to manage the number of betting shops on high streets.  Currently, bookmakers can move into empty premises without planning permission but under new laws they will have to submit a planning application and local councils will be able to refuse it.  

There will also be new measures to curb the use of high stake Fixed Odds Betting Terminals including presenting players with a choice to set limits on how much they want to spend and how long they want to play for. 

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