Booked television and radio commercials have been either removed entirely or plugged with safe gaming messages from charities after the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) agreed to limit the amount of brand exposure to customers.
It’s one of the latest efforts by the BGC to champion standards within the iGaming industry. In November last year, the BGC successfully encouraged many leading iGaming operators to sign up to Safer Gambling Commitments. The initiative promotes five core facets of safer gambling commitments, spanning the protection of young people and customers and the promotion of a safer gambling culture. Codes of practice for advertising and marketing were also high on the agenda, which explains this latest move.
Brigid Simmonds OBE, chairman of the BGC, welcomed the “commitments from the chief executives” of the UK’s leading iGaming operators. Simmonds believes the Safer Gambling Commitments regime will foster a better “culture of safer gambling”, whilst “empowering consumers” to continue to play their favourite casino games. There is no doubt that the range of casino games available to bettors is growing year-on-year. The trends are increasingly moving away from digitized, video game-style table games to live-streamed high-definition streams of table games managed by human dealers in real-time. Indeed, UK operators are driving services whereby players can take part in live roulette casino everywhere, offering the engagement and social aspect of land-based casino experiences, but through desktop or mobile.
As of May 7, members of the BGC have removed all commercial advertising from television and radio, with the prohibition scheduled to remain in place until June 5 at the earliest. iGaming operators will still be permitted to communicate with new and existing customers using alternative means including direct marketing (email newsletters, as well as social media).
The BGC also confirmed that its membership equated to around 50% of all betting advertising on the UK’s television and radio networks. It has subsequently called on other organizations within the sector – namely Camelot, the UK’s National Lottery operator – to follow suit.
The show must go on for sportsbooks online
While most professional sporting events and leagues take a break during the summer, there are some opportunities for sporting fans to watch live action. As most sportsbooks now broadcast live streams of in-play action, the attention has turned to one of the most unlikely sources – Russian table tennis. Most sports-mad fanatics are desperately seeking their fix of dramatic live sport over the summer months and only a select group of sporting events are currently being staged.
Russia’s Liga Pro competition has staggered everyone, including the sportsbook traders themselves, in becoming one of the hottest properties to wager on today. It’s not just the UK that’s going made for the Moscow Liga Pro either. Stateside, bettors are also getting in on the act. In Oregon, where the NBA is typically the most popular sport to wager on, Russian and Armenian table tennis has become the most-watched sport in the north-west. When you witness people watching semi-professional Russian table tennis and British professional darts players entering leagues by competing in their own homes, it reaffirms just how connected the sporting world really is.
At its heart, reduced advertising changes nothing for those who already enjoy various gambling activities. It’s still possible to dive into online games or bet on new sports, regardless.