Asociația Joc Responsabil

EGBA has published a new Code of Conduct on responsible advertising for online operators (Part 1)

By Joc Responsabil

The European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) published a new Code of Conduct on responsible advertising by online gambling operators at the end of April. Headquartered in Brussels, EGBA is the body that represents the most important players in this field, operating in the European Union (EU).

Among the companies signing the new Code of Conduct are bet365, Betsson Group, GVC Holdings Plc, Kindred Group Plc and William Hill Plc. The code aims to further strengthen the protection of minors and gambling practitioners, by promoting responsible advertising measures for online gambling operators. At the same time, the Code reflects the responsible commitment that the industry takes to bring once again assurances that gambling is a safe and responsible way to spend your free time.

The code was developed in the context of the Media and Audiovisual Services Directive, which encourages the use of each state’s own regulations in the field of gambling advertising as well as those regulations made together with other Member States of the European Union in this field. Thus, the Code establishes a set of responsible advertising measures for online gambling operators, applicable in the European Union / European Economic Area (which includes in addition to the countries of the European Union and Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) and in the United Kingdom. These measures may complement or go beyond the existing legal framework and / or own regulatory measures already in place in these countries. Last but not least, the Code refers to all marketing activities in the field of gambling, carried out on all media platforms (including television, radio, social networks and other online platforms), regardless of the technology they use.

Online gambling advertising plays an important role in any sound market that operates on sound principles, precisely because it facilitates consumers ‘access to remote gambling operators’ products and services and also allows them to make informed decisions on the right information when deciding to practice this form of entertainment.

Gambling marketing activities must provide clear and accurate information about an online gambling operator or an online gambling service. In addition, they must be socially responsible and not contribute to fostering gambling problems.

Thus, gambling marketing DOESN’T have to:
– Support the idea that gambling is free from the risk of financial loss;
– Promote behavior that objectively leads to financial losses;
– Provide false or unrealistic information about the likelihood of winning gambling or returning lost money;
– Provide false or unrealistic information about the likelihood of winning gambling or returning lost money;
– Suggest that gambling is possible on an anonymous basis or without having a user account opened with an online gambling operator;
– Target or attract minors in particular in gambling activities;
– Guide, tolerate or encourage criminal or antisocial behavior;
– Suggest that gambling is an important part of an individual’s life and that it can be a solution to personal, professional or educational problems;
– Contain statements that gambling can lead to social success or the improvement of personal qualities, such as increased self-esteem;
– Promote gambling as an alternative to a job, as a financial investment or as a solution to existing financial problems;
– Suggest that gambling is more important than family, friends, or professional or educational obligations;
– Contain messages that gambling could lead to sexual success or increase individual attractiveness;
– Exploit cultural beliefs about the role of gambling or the concept of gambling;
– Contain messages that are urgent or that could put pressure on players, such as “you have nothing to lose”, “your next win is very close to you” or “hurry to bet now”;
– Contain unclear information about the terms and conditions for obtaining bonuses, when the situation requires it. Where technically possible, an advertisement for bonuses that a player may receive must clearly specify that a new customer must first register to obtain a particular bonus.

The Responsible Gaming Association aims to support social responsibility, including responsible advertising for gambling, as an integral part of the principles of responsible gaming.