The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a UK-based self-regulatory organization, has recently released a report detailing that over the past few years, gambling ads that are targeting children and minors have significantly declined.

According to ASA’s latest report, gambling ads on TV that are geared for under-16s has decreased by two-fifths since 2010 – which was the initial year when monitoring for such types of advertising began.

Putting it in numbers, this equates to children’s exposure to TV gambling ads seeing a notable decline, starting from an average of 3.0 ads per week in 2010 to 1.8 ads per week in 2023. This also meant that children were exposed to just under one TV ad for gambling on average for every six seen by adults in 2023. 

Moreover, neighboring nations in the UK saw children’s exposure to gambling TV ads ranged from 1.7 ads per week in Northern Ireland to 2.3 ads per week in Scotland in 2023.

Apart from gambling ads numbers, the latest ASA biennial report also highlighted a notable decrease in children’s exposure to ads for alcohol and high-fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products.

What is the ASA Organization?

The ASA, which aims to protect vulnerable audiences from potential harm, conducts regular monitoring of ads, especially those for age-restricted products to ensure children and under-aged citizens are protected. Releasing the report is seen as a means to identify industry trends and ensure all of ASA’s scheduling restrictions are working to the benefit of accurately limiting children’s exposure to potentially harmful products like alcohol and gambling. 

The ASA noted that while the continued decline in children’s exposure to age-restricted TV ads is encouraging, the organization realizes that a lot of their findings can be attributed to changing media habits for children and minors, which is why they are also continuing to conduct proactive projects that shall be tasked to monitor what ads children and underaged citizens are seeing online.

Projects like Exposure Reports, which utilizes world-leading Avatar technology for constantly monitoring online gambling, alcohol, and HFSS product ads, and the cutting-edge 100 Children Report, are essential tools for the ASA, as these help them ensure that they can monitor and enforce their regulation that are put into place to provide appropriate protections for children.

Recently, the ASA issued a warning over a social media gambling ad featuring a person under 25 years of age. The ad in question was posted on Astrid Wett’s Twitter account after a complaint was made over her promotion of Festival Free Bets. Wett, an amateur female boxer and influencer, had her image used for an advertisement where she posed at Cheltenham racecourse. She was noted to be 23 years old when the image was taken, which sparked the ASA to issue the warning.

According to the CAP Code, no one who is or seems to be under 25 years of age can be featured playing a significant role in marketing communications for advertise gambling services, unless in marketing where “ a bet could be placed directly through a transactional facility, for instance, a gambling operator’s own website and the person is the subject of the bet”.

The ASA noted that since the ad was for a service that was intended to facilitate gambling and featured someone who was aged under 25 playing a significant role, they deemed that the ad was irresponsible.

What is the Legal Age for Gambling Across Countries?

The efforts from the ASA is a commendable one, as they are vigilant when it comes to protecting the youth from gambling ads. That said, the legal age for gambling is different across different countries.

In the USA, the legal age for gambling and online gambling is 21 years old. Any citizen under 21 is prohibited from taking part in gambling activities, whether in conventional casinos or online casinos. For Canadian citizens, their legal age for gambling is 18, but Ontario residents need to be 19 to be eligible to participate in gambling activities.

The legal age for gambling in the UK is 18 years old. According to the Gambling Act 2005: Part 4, Protection of children and young persons, it is illegal to permit any person under the age of 18 to enter a licensed gambling premises. Moreover, casinos tend to operate a challenge 21 policy for citizens who look underage. Citizens can present a government-approved ID that typically includes their age to confirm whether they can partake in conventional and online casino games.

Most European countries designate their legal gambling age at 18 years old. However, specific European countries like Greece and Estonia have different ages, with 23 and 21, respectively.

Each country has their own programs that endeavor to establish a safe gambling environment for its citizens, especially for children and the youth. This is why it is essential for players who wish to play casino games online or in conventional establishments to determine the legal age for gambling in their respective locations. Doing so helps prevent the exposure of underage to gambling and also lessens their tendency to develop problematic gambling behavior, and essentially promoting a responsible gambling environment.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

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