New Advertising Rules Force Changes on UK Poker Ambassadors

3 min read

Changes in the ways UK poker, gaming, and betting companies advertise their products are already impacting one of the industry’s most popular social media stars.

Jaime Staples
Jaime Staples put his partnership with Partypoker on hold following the introduction of new advertising rules in the UK. (Image: Club Poker)

As part of a combined effort to raise responsible gambling standards, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) introduced a range of new advertising guidelines.

One of the more notable changes takes aim at the way gambling products are promoted on social media. As a result, poker pro and streamer Jaime Staples “paused” his sponsorship deal with Partypoker.

Guidelines Designed to Make UK Poker Sites Safer

The latest update limits the exposure of under 18s to gambling content. Some of the main codes of conduct BGC members must now follow are:

  • All sponsored or paid for social media ads must be targeted at consumers aged 25 or over. The only exceptions are cases where the operator can definitively prove that adverts are targeted solely at those over 18.
  • Gambling adverts on search engines must be clearly targeted at over 18s, and include responsible gambling messages.
  • YouTube users must have age-verified accounts before they can view gambling adverts or similar content.
  • BGC members have to be more active with regard to posting responsible gambling messages across their social media channels.

The new guidelines come from the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling’s (IGRG) Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising. All members of the Betting and Gaming Council must follow the IGRG’s codes.

These guidelines are separate from the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) CAP Code, which is overseen by the Advertising Standards Agency. The UKGC insists that licensed operators follow IGRG guidelines, as well as those outlined in the CAP Code.

What this somewhat convoluted system amounts to is a situation where licensed UK operators must adhere to the UKGC’s CAP Code. Operators that are part of the Betting and Gaming Council must also comply with the IGRG’s rules.

Partypoker Has to Adjust

Partypoker’s parent company, GVC, is a member of the BGC alongside Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, 888 Holdings, and others. As such, it’s adopted IGRG rules, which means Staples had to put his relationship with Partypoker on hold.

The parting is more of a logistical issue than a fall out between the two parties. Because the new guidelines mean that YouTube channels featuring gambling content can only be viewed by those with age-verified accounts, content creators with large, diverse audiences, like Staples, are also impacted by the new rules.

This isn’t the first time Staples and other social media stars have faced regulatory challenges. Changes to YouTube’s content guidelines in 2019 and again in 2020 meant hundreds of poker videos were removed. This time, however, the changes have come from outside the social media sphere.

Staples said he hopes to get back to business as usual when he leaves the UK and returns to Canada. In lieu of that, he’s streaming as an independent person.

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