The advertising of gambling products and services must be undertaken in a socially responsible manner and you must comply with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
For media not explicitly covered you should apply the principles included in these codes of practice as if they were explicitly covered.
For free and paid-for advice on making your ads compliant with the Codes you can contact CAP’s Copy Advice team.
Gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising
You should comply with the Gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising which is administered by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG). This code is designed to supplement the CAP and BCAP codes by providing minimum industry standards in a limited number of related areas.
Gambling ads of particular appeal to under-18s
The CAP Code requires that marketing communications for gambling must not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture, particularly if they are generally available to view by them (‘freely accessible’). You therefore need to take care with the imagery and wording used in ads for gambling products or games. Read more about how the ASA views this type of content.
Following on from the joint letter to remote operators and CAP’s Webinar, a series of Q&As have been published which provide further clarity and advice on how to ensure that your ads do not have particular appeal to under 18s.
To support your compliance with the advertising rules, CAP’s guidance, Gambling advertising: protect children and young people, was released in February 2019.
Advertising and sponsorship in sport
We expect licensees to ensure that when agreeing commercial deals with sports clubs, that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations. These include provisions contained within LCCP, the UK Advertising Codes, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising and sport governing body rules.
- The UK Advertising Codes contain strict rules on the content, targeting and placement of gambling adverts. For example, licensees should ensure that their brand is not being promoted via the junior sections of clubs’ websites.
- The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising requires that licensees do not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising (eg replica shirts) which is designed for use by children.
- The European Sponsorship Association and the Football Association require that in the case of teams comprising players all under the age of 18, that gambling logos do not appear on any item of kit or clothing.
Young people in marketing material
As a general rule, marketing communications for gambling must not include a child or a young person (for the purposes of these rules, children are people of 15 and under and young persons are people of 16 or 17). No one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role.
Individuals who are, or seem to be under 25 years old (18-24 years old) may be featured playing a significant role only in marketing communications that appear in a place where a bet can be placed directly through a transactional facility; for instance, a gambling operator’s premises or own website.
In all others instances, including social media, under 25s must not feature. CAP Gambling Consultation Regulatory Statement: Betting websites featuring individuals under the age of 25.
Open and transparent marketingLCCP: Social responsibility code 5.1.9 (Other marketing requirements)
You must ensure that your marketing communications do not mislead consumers.
You must ensure that all significant conditions which apply to marketing incentives are provided transparently and prominently to consumers. You must present the significant conditions at the point of sale for any promotion, and on any advertising in any medium for that marketing incentive except where, in relation to the latter, limitations of space make this impossible.
The terms and conditions of each marketing incentive must be made available for the full duration of the promotion.
You are encouraged to refer to CAP’s guidance on Gambling ads: free bets and bonuses.
LCCP: Social responsibility code 5.1.11 (Direct electronic marketing consent)
Unless expressly permitted by law consumers must not be contacted with direct electronic marketing without their informed and specific consent.
Whenever a consumer is contacted the consumer must be provided with an opportunity to withdraw consent. If consent is withdrawn the you must, as soon as practicable, ensure the consumer is not contacted with electronic marketing thereafter unless the consumer consents again.
You must be able to provide evidence which establishes that consent.
LCCP 5.1.11 broadly reflects the relevant requirements of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Relevant guidance can be found on the ICO’s website:
- Electronic and telephone marketing
- Guidance on direct marketing
- Direct marketing checklist
- Guidance on cookies.
Responsible placement of digital adverts LCCP: Licence condition 16 (Responsible placement of digital adverts)
You must ensure that you do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content and must take all reasonable steps to ensure that third parties with whom you contract do similar.
The Infringing Website List (IWL), owned by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), is an online portal containing an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites. The aim of the IWL is that advertisers, agencies and other intermediaries can voluntarily decide to cease advert placement on these illegal websites.
You are encouraged to sign up to access the IWL. For more information please contact PIPCUIWL@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk
Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP)
Our LCCP is the rulebook setting out the measures that you must take and other aspects that we think are good practice. To run your business in a socially responsible way is to use the LCCP as a starting point, and build on these provisions, to ensure that you puts your customers at the heart of your business.
Working together to improve standards of safer gambling
One of the most important criteria for traders when choosing a Forex broker is the regulatory status of the broker and under which regulatory body the broker is regulated. Unregulated Forex / CFD brokerages are risky places for traders to deposit funds, and traders who do so are likely to find they have no effective remedy to counter losses caused by dishonesty or incompetence.
In the listing below, we outline the major regulatory bodies by country which are most relevant to Forex / CFD brokerages and summarize the major points of regulatory law applicable.
Forex brokers usually launch with regulation in only a single country. Obtaining such regulatory approval is usually not an easy achievement, especially in jurisdictions with stricter regulation. New brokerages typically start with regulation in a single country and will then seek to gain regulatory licenses in other countries where they wish to operate. Typically, it makes things easier for Forex brokers to obtain some kind of regulatory certification even in countries where they are not physically based, if they wish to actively market their services there.
Some of the more recognized Forex regulators globally are the FCA in the United Kingdom, CySec in Cyprus and the NFA in the United States. In addition to Forex regulation from bodies established by national governments, some brokers find it important to acquire memberships from professional and cross-border entities. Forex brokers operating in the European Union will need to comply with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), a European Union-wide regulation ensuring harmonized regulation for investment services across the 30 member states of the European Economic Area.
If a Forex broker is regulated, the name of the relevant Forex regulator should be transparently listed somewhere on the broker’s website. If it is not, the website should tell you an address for the head office of the brokerage and from this you can tell that it should hopefully be regulated in this country. If the website does not give you at least this, it is a strong sign that this broker is not regulated – for obvious reasons, brokers which are completely unregulated do not usually advertise that fact. If you have a country from which the broker operates, you can find the relevant regulatory body and you should be able to search their website to find whether this broker is within their published list of regulated Forex brokers.
Listed below are the financial regulatory bodies for each country by alphabetic order, as well as the maximum leverage that may be offered by a Forex / CFD broker operating from there to its own residents, which occasionally differs from that which may be offered to residents of foreign countries.
Cyprus:Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30
The Republic of Cyprus is a very popular offshore venue for Forex / CFD traders, due to its mixture of E.U. membership, very flexible regulatory framework, and very large number of brokerage houses plus full supporting infrastructure.
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30
Denmark is not an especially strong venue for Forex and CFD trading but has always been the financial services hub of the Scandinavian nations. It does have one big name brokerage in Saxo Bank.
Germany:Federal Financial Supervisory Authority
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30
Germany is not a strong venue for Forex and CFD trading, with most French traders preferring to use offshore brokerages.
Hong Kong SAR:Securities and Futures Commission
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:500
Hong Kong is a very popular offshore financial center, especially for the Asian market, and is home to many Forex / CFD brokerages due to its combination of light regulation and good supportive infrastructure, while it remains a popular choice of venue for both domestic and offshore Forex traders.
India:Reserve Bank of India
Maximum Forex Leverage: Zero
Forex trading is only legal for Indian residents if the base currency is Indian Rupees and the counterparty currency USD, EUR, JPY or GBP. Therefore, the domestic retail Forex industry in India is practically non-existent.
Indonesia:Badan Pengawas Perdagangan Berjangka Komoditi
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:200
Indonesia has a growing domestic Forex / CFD brokerage industry which has begun to recover from its initial scandals generated during its early, relatively unregulated days. However, many Indonesian resident traders still tend to seek offshore brokers, and Indonesian brokers have few offshore clients.
Italy:Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa
Maximum Forex Leverage: 1:30
Forex and CFD trading remain popular in Italy although the relatively weak Italian economy has stunted the natural growth of the industry. Italian traders generally prefer Italian and Swiss brokerage houses.