The UK Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) calls on the Premier League and English Football League to encourage clubs to adopt new rules for social media gambling.

The new rules were developed by the BGC in response to concerns about the exposure of young people to gambling messages on social media platforms.

The new BGC Code of Conduct does not allow calls to action or links to gambling websites for organic tweets in soccer club social media feeds. The Code also prohibits the display of direct bonuses or quotas on organic tweets, which are not exclusive to those over the age of 18.

“Football clubs are an important part of the country’s sports fabric, followed by millions of all ages on social media,” said Brigid Simmonds, chairwoman of the BGC. “Our members rightly pursue a zero tolerance approach to gambling under the age of 18. Therefore, as an industry, we are understandably concerned that children could be exposed to betting ads on social media platforms.

“Our new guidelines set out the standards football clubs are expected to see when they post gambling advertisements on social media and I look forward to seeing them put into practice as soon as possible.”

The BGC is also urging Twitter and Facebook to put age restrictions on all social media accounts to ensure that organic posts containing gambling advertisements can only be seen by those over the age of 18.

The new rules complement the BGC’s Sixth Industry Code of Socially Responsible Advertising, published last August, which requires members to ensure that all sponsored or paid social media ads are targeted to people 25 and older, unless the website is used can prove that this is possible precisely aimed at over 18 years.

The new rules for non-age related positions include:

No links or display of website addresses for betting websites in text or graphics

No involvement of betting company handles

No direct bonus / purchase offers in text or graphics

No direct display of odds in text or graphics

No calls to action in text or graphics

18+ and GambleAware messages in graphics if branded image is used

Retweets from gambling accounts are not permitted as the posts are not age-dependent