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The UKGC partners with Facebook to make gambling adverts safe

The UKGC partners with Facebook to create guidelines that will keep gambling marketing away from vulnerable players.


Online gambling is a massive industry worldwide and it provides millions of players with entertainment at online casinos daily. It is an age-restricted market though and it is not without its vices.

While a low number of people suffer from gambling problems in relation to the number of players that actually gamble, with the increase in world-wide reach, online casino regulators want to ensure that certain protection protocols are put in place.

One of the biggest punters on this front, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has made great strides to ensure that responsible gambling makes in-roads across the globe by partnering up with the world’s biggest social media company – Facebook.

The Commission lays down the gauntlet

The Gambling Commission issued a challenge to the industry earlier this year, encouraging it to stand in unity to improve its advertising technology so that, together, they could reduce the effect that marketing has on vulnerable audiences. This includes both under-aged minors and problem gamblers.

The chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur said:

“Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling is at the heart of what we do, which is why I challenged the industry to look at how they can make better use of technology to prevent gambling-related content and adverts being seen by those individuals.”

In response to this declaration, Facebook has pulled alongside the Commission and together they seek to surge ahead and implement practical guidance to limit and manage the type of advertising that people see on public platforms. Mr McArthur goes on to say:

“Partnering with Facebook to produce this guidance is a welcome step for us in order to offer consumers clear, practical advice, and I hope that this will help them limit the gambling-related content they see when using the platform.”

All set for a safer tomorrow

As the leader in social media, Facebook sees the need to lead the way in consumer protection. They have learned the hard way that the government expects the best from them in this regards and have already coughed up billions of dollars in fines for failing to protect their users in the past.

They seem set for this new voyage though. The Vice President of Global Gaming at Facebook, Rick Kelley said:

“Facebook is committed to supporting a safe and transparent environment for people to control their experiences on our platform. We’re delighted that our partnership with the Gambling Commission will help operators to implement advertising campaigns responsibly while helping to protect the people who use our services.”

Based on this, we can expect that while casinos and betting platforms still have the free reign to advertise responsibly on this and other platforms, the protection protocols will make sure that only limited people see it. It restricts the adverts to those who want to see the marketing, as well as those who are legally allowed to take part in the offers advertised.

The 3-point plan

The guidance from Facebook provides three ways that users can limit their experience. The guidance includes:

  1. Hide ads: Users can control what ads they see and hide all future marketing they do not wish to see. If an undesirable ad pops up, the user can opt to control future instances of similar material by clicking on ‘’Why am I seeing this ad?” They can then block all future marketing from the same advertiser.
  2. Ad preference tool: Here, players can both review ads they have seen on their newsreel and choose to see fewer ads relating to certain categories in the future.
  3. Managing data: Users control how their data is managed on and off Facebook. This means they can exclude themselves from being the target of certain types of marketing like gambling, etc.

We should welcome the increasing security in the industry, as well as all viable strategies targeting problem gambling and safe gambling. Hopefully, this single alliance is the first in a long line of partnerships of leading companies coming together to keep gambling what it is meant to be – fun!

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