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UKGC Warns Gambling Operators About Marketing to Kids

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has a message for UK-facing operators: marketing your products to children is not all right, especially if that marketing takes place on their youth league soccer jerseys. It’s yet another reminder of the challenges that gambling operators face in the marketplace and how easy it is to slide into youth marketing…whether you’ve intended to or not.
For the UKGC, however, there’s no such thing as grey areas or mistakes when it comes to protecting children from gambling products. To that end, the Commission released a gentle “rules reminder” to operators outlining exactly where their promotional logos can be used, and where they cannot be used.
In particular, the UKGC noted that while operator logos can be used on jerseys worn by adults, they cannot be used on jerseys worn by children. This can be tricky for both operators and teams, as many teams run amateur youth leagues that run alongside their professional programs, and they usually wear the same jerseys. Not only are gambling logos not allowed on kids’ jerseys, they’re not even allowed on the team’s website.
The reminder was produced in conjunction with the Advertising Standards Authority and is also being used to remind operators that as of October 1, they will be on the hook for much larger fines than they’re used to paying when it comes to violating UK gaming and advertising standards.
In this instance, the UKGC is definitely not threatening or speaking in riddles. The Commission has made it clear, in a number of ways, that the days of fuzzy rule-following by UK-facing gambling operators are over and done.