by: Teodora Luca, avocat, Cabinet de Avocat LUCA Mihai Cătălin
(Continued from the last issue)
As we declared in a series of previous articles, the assurance of the efficient protection of minors against an activity which is forbidden did not cut to a simple exposure of the interdiction to participate on the advertising materials, but involves the adjusting of their content such that it does not interest them, or their transmission only in spaces during the hours in which the access of minors to advertising material is restricted.
Most probably, the authority considered that the advertising messaged where the value of the prizes is centered (within the bonus campaigns or under the form of jackpots) interest the vulnerable categories, minors, or persons who have a risk of developing an addiction.
On the contrary, a study initiated in the Great Britain by Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) lead to the conclusion that the advertising of gambling does not have an impact on the pathological gambling. The study wanted to observe if the increased of advertising “could influence children and young people in getting used to some habits of pathological gambling”.
The conclusion of the study was that the pathological gambling percentage did not modify after the acceptance of the advertising concerning the gambling. “The pathological gambling among young people and children remained at a minimum level during the explosion of the gambling advertising”.
The study focused on the effects of the gambling activity advertising and proved once again that young people and children – categories considered as vulnerable from the perspective of gambling activity – did not react positively when the degree of broadcasting the advertisements which urge them in an unveiled way to this type of activities increased.
It is important to mention that, within the context in which the operators have the obligation of assuring that minors do not access the gambling services, being forbidden their access to the locations, to the gambling means or the platforms used in this regard, their efficient protection is assured more efficiently by applying effectively this restriction than by adjusting the advertising messages.
From this perspective, the new measures target an increased protection of the vulnerable persons, other than those to which the restrictions concerning the participation to gambling apply. The measure does not impose a total interdiction for the advertising of offered services, but institutes a requirement for the gambling organizers to concentrate rather on the activity entertainment feature than on the advertising of the idea of gaining easily money.
The restriction is applicable to all the gambling organizers, whether of the type of performed activity; without the criteria of setting out the channel for the distribution of message, the restriction is applicable to all the advertisement messages which are shared outside the specialized locations, not existing legal basis to limit the applicability of these provisions to the messages displayed on the facades of locations, as it is considered in a first interpretation by some of the operators.
Such an interpretation would lead to the loss of the effects of the new legal regulation, as long as the restriction would apply only to the messages displayed on the facade of the specialized locations, with a more restraint visibility against the message broadcasted by mass-media or as long as the messages containing the value of prizes would be allowed in the proximity of locations.
Consequently, to avoid the enforcement of the sanction and the additional measure, acknowledging in the revocation of the gambling organization permit, from the activity advertising messages, the information concerning the prizes given additionally within the bonus, marketing or jackpots campaigns have to be removed.