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 came fully into effect on 1 September 2007, and the the Gambling (Licensing and advertising) Act 2014 on the 1st November 2014. 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 2014 act 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.
Section 16 of the CAP Code applies to ads for gambling products, including online casinos. In this section, rules include those that 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.
Marketers and media owners should assure themselves that on-line casinos are not promoting inducements that could invite excessive or harmful play. Any incentive, inducement or reward must be set out clearly, including significant terms and conditions that apply.
Although they will vary depending on the type of gambling and player, inducements and rewards should be proportionate to the amount of money and time spent by the player. They should neither increase at a greater rate if greater amounts of time or money are spent nor encourage players to gamble substantial amounts at regular and fixed frequencies or within a fixed and limited period. They should also be proportionate to the gambling environment. For example, a one-off reward of a free bet after £50 has been wagered could be acceptable provided giving a free bet is not unusual at that level for that type of gambling. For further advice, see our Advertising Guidance here.