Dan Iliovici

About (less) responsible marketing

By Dan Iliovici, Vicepresident, ROMBET

A classic phrase says “almost a day goes by” – a new article promoting online gambling.

From the outset, I would point out that advertising and promoting a lawful activity, as is the case with licensed operators, is legitimate. But at the same time, as required by the legislation of the field, this promotion must take place “(…) in compliance with the principles of protection of minors and responsible participation in gambling.”*1

Unfortunately, in the absence of law enforcement rules, it remained an area at the limit of legal provisions, an area that “benefits” especially affiliates, considering that it does not violate the legal framework to ensure this promotion “responsible”.

Below are some expressions used in gambling promotion materials, examples taken at random, to give us an idea of what “responsible” means to some:
earnings a few clicks away
– betting as an investment
– learn to bet effectively
– how to make money on the internet (with reference to gambling)
– how to beat bookmakers
– do you need extra income?
– how to win bets more often
guaranteed profit on bets – tips
– doubling the money on bets
– bet now!

Note: the word “bet” in the quoted expressions does not refer only to bets on sporting events, being games of chance – in a generic way.

I would invite to a self-control, a self-censorship, those who promote gambling in this way, which I think would be beneficial for the entire industry.

About (less) responsible marketing

In this sense, at the beginning of 2018, we published “The Code of Ethics for Responsible Communication in the Field of Gambling”. It was a first step in raising awareness among operators about the “responsibility” in gambling marketing, but without establishing a mandatory rule. The provisions of this Code of Ethics have been inspired by similar codes in several states, partially taking over even some provisions with the force of law in some jurisdictions.

Although in the “Assumption” chapter of the Code we have clearly stated that “This code of ethics is intended to be a set of rules, to which all those involved in the field of gambling freely consent (…)”, the reactions from some representatives of the operators were rejecting this initiative. This reaction was all the more surprising as we felt the need to emphasize:
“This set of rules on responsible commercial communication in the field of gambling is a document subject to the development and permanent adaptation to the evolution of the field of gambling, new methods and communication channels. In this regard, the ONJN is open to any proposals and suggestions for improvement, both from the gambling industry, players, other institutions, and from the public, media representatives, NGOs or other organizations interested in responsible communication in the field of gambling.”

One explanation for the opposition to a non-binding code of ethics was that it is possible (expected) that this form of voluntary compliance with a set of rules on responsible commercial communication would be followed by mandatory legal provisions, starting with this. code. I would also mention, without being malicious, that among the most vehement opponents of the Code of Ethics were some lawyers of the operators, even in the situation when the proposal was not one with the force of law.

I tried to explain to the operators, their representatives when discussing the code, the fact that it is proven that a set of rules to which those concerned can voluntarily adhere, has a much higher efficiency than the establishment of mandatory rules. Without (too much) success, unfortunately.

In the next issue of the magazine I will return to the Code of Ethics for responsible communication in the field of gambling, by presenting the provisions contained in this approach from the period in which I led ONJN.

About (less) responsible marketing

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