Jamaica Tightens Gambling Ad Regulations to Protect Youth, New Standards by BGLC
In a decisive response to the growing concern about gambling’s impact on young people, Jamaica’s Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) is revising its advertising standards to foster a more responsible gambling environment.
Following an extensive public consultation, the BGLC has announced new rules for gambling advertisements, slated to come into effect on April 1, 2024. These changes reflect the regulatory body’s commitment to curbing the increasing influence of gambling ads, particularly as the market becomes increasingly competitive.
Key aspects of the new regulations include a prohibition on misleading imagery or content in gambling ads, the mandatory inclusion of a “play responsibly” message, and a focus on protecting minors. Advertisements must clearly state that gambling is restricted to individuals over 18 and avoid featuring anyone who appears to be under 25, except in locations not accessible to minors.
The BGLC’s move is a critical step towards ensuring that the gambling industry operates ethically, particularly in its marketing practices, thereby safeguarding the interests of younger audiences in Jamaica.
Research by Hope Caribbean Co and Bluedot: In collaboration with these agencies, the BGLC conducted research to understand the prevalence of gambling and the connection between gambling advertisements and awareness of gambling risks.
Evidence from Jamaican Schools: The BGLC cited requests from schools for interventions addressing student involvement in gambling as a clear indicator that enhanced social awareness and intervention strategies are urgently needed.
Curaçao Gaming Control Board’s Licensing Applications: Meanwhile, in another part of the Caribbean, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) has opened its application process for new online gambling licenses. This development includes a dedicated portal for new applicants and existing sub-licensees, aligning with the upcoming National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK).
Transition to Curaçao Gaming Authority: Under the LOK, the newly formed Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA) will assume regulatory responsibilities, marking a significant shift in the region’s gambling regulatory landscape.
The BGLC’s revamped advertising standards in Jamaica, coupled with Curaçao’s licensing updates, signify a major shift in the Caribbean’s approach to gambling regulation. These measures reflect a growing awareness of the social impact of gambling and a commitment to protecting vulnerable populations, especially youth, from gambling-related risks. As the Caribbean gambling industry evolves, these regulatory changes pave the way for a more responsible and ethically conscious gambling sector.