Football clubs will be banned from promoting gambling when tough new rules come into force.
Arsenal drew criticism online from Gary Lineker among many others after the club’s social media account promoted their “official betting partner” before their FA Cup tie with Southampton last month, and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has reacted by drawing up new measures intended to prevent similar posts.
Under the new BGC code of conduct, calls to action or links to gambling websites would not be allowed on organic tweets on the social media feeds of football clubs. The code of conduct also bans any display of direct bonuses or odds on organic tweets which cannot be solely targeted at over-18s.
Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said: “Football clubs are an important part of the sporting fabric of this country, followed by millions of all ages on social media.
“Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on Twitter.
“Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible.”
In a statement to The Independent, an Arsenal spokesperson said: “Our partnership with SportsBet.io is founded on a joint commitment to promote safe and responsible gambling. We are pleased to partner with an industry-leading organisation that takes its social and regulatory responsibility extremely seriously.
“We would encourage anyone struggling with gambling to seek confidential and professional support at www.gamstop.co.uk.”
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