The Betting and Playing Council is introducing strict new guidelines for taking part in social media posts from high soccer golf equipment

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The Betting and Gambling Council has put in place tough new rules to prevent football clubs from using their official social media accounts to promote gambling offers.

Hence concerns that the controversial tactic could be used to circumvent tough measures preventing under 18s from seeing online betting ads.

Questions were asked about gambling ads posted by clubs on their official Twitter accounts.

The new BGC Code of Conduct does not allow calls to action or links to gambling websites in organic tweets in football club social media feeds.

The Code of Conduct also prohibits the display of direct bonuses or opportunities to win on organic tweets that are not intended only for those over 18.

The BGC has written to the Premier League and the English Football League highlighting the new guidelines so that they can draw the clubs' attention to it and encourage them to apply the rules for non-BGC members.

A letter was also sent separately to Twitter and Facebook asking them to age-gate all social media accounts to ensure that organic posts containing gambling advertisements can only be seen by those over 18.

Last August, the BGC published the Sixth Industry Code of Socially Responsible Advertising, which stipulates that members must ensure that all sponsored or paid social media ads are aimed at people aged 25 and over, unless the website can demonstrate that their ads are targeted precisely at over 18s.

It also includes the requirement that gambling advertisements that appear on search engines must make it clear that they are intended for people aged 18 and over, while the advertisements themselves must contain safer gambling news.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairwoman of 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 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."