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 Advertising Standards Authority.

The Gambling Act 2005 has been in effect since 1 September 2007, and The Gambling (Licensing and advertising) Act 2014 took effect on the 1st November 2014. The Gambling Act does not apply outside Great Britain. Therefore, if advertising in Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands , then Specialist legal advice should be sought.

Section 16 of the CAP Code contains rules that apply to ads from gambling operators licensed in Great Britain that are likely to have the effect of promoting gambling. This section states that, among other rules, 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. 

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’).

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