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Responsible Gambling Communication (III)

(continued from previous issue)

By Dan Iliovici, Vice-president, ROMBET

A very important chapter of the draft Code of Ethics for responsible communication in the field of gambling is the one dedicated to the protection of minors:
• The content of advertisements and marketing materials that promote gambling must be designed in such a way that it does not attract young people under the age of 18, for example it does not contain elements that portray children, objects, images, impressions, symbols, music, characters – be real or fictional – cartoons, celebrities such as sports champions, which could be an attraction for people under the age of 18;

The presentation of fairy tale characters, such as Snow White, Hänsel and Gretel, Princess X, etc., only arouse the interest of minors in these games of chance, which should, of course, be avoided.
• Advertising must not undermine the authority of parents or legal guardians. Example: “You are mature enough to do what you love”;
• Gambling should not be promoted in a way that would suggest a link between gambling and maturity, or as a rite of passage to maturity. Example: “Only adults participate in gambling.”
• No symbol of a gambling organizer, which is part of the brand identity, such as logo, trademark or name, should be associated with clothing, toys, games or gaming equipment or any other object, which are or can be addressed to persons under 18 years of age.
• Communication must not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of minors, it must not associate gambling with the activities and concerns specific to this age group.

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Finally, the last chapter of the Code of Ethics in Communication deals with Health and Education:
• The communication must contain at least a warning to convey the idea of social responsibility, in the sense that gambling means a way of spending free time, possibly associated with the idea of spending a certain amount of money;
• Communication should not affect the players’ willingness to stop playing, putting any obstacles in the way of those who want to stop (temporarily) or give up the game permanently. These obstacles can be in the form of time conditions (playing time), minimum amount of money played / played, bonuses or other incentives to those who resume the game immediately, etc.
• The communication should not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial problems, a way to make money, a method of enrichment or a form of financial investment;
• Communication should not lead to the idea that excessive gambling losses have no negative consequences;
• The communication must not provide misleading information about the possibility (chances) of winning, and / or lead players to believe that if they repeat the game, their chances of winning will increase;
• The communication should not suggest that the player’s skills or experience will eliminate (or diminish) the (random) luck factor on which the winnings depend;
• Communication should not suggest the need to persevere in gambling, or contempt for the idea of abstinence from gambling;
• Communication should not have sexual content or games of seduction, and should not associate the idea of gambling with the idea of sexual success or increased physical attraction;
• The commercial communication broadcast by the gambling operator through direct channels, such as e-mail, SMS, mail or telemarketing, will not be addressed to persons who have given up (possibly by self-exclusion) the game in the locations (on the website). those operator / organizer;
• The commercial communication will be accompanied by clear information on how to submit a complaint or ask questions about the offers and / or content of that communication (customer relations, or similar);
• Gambling organizers will ensure that good practices are followed in the case of commercial communications, especially those made through digital – online channels, e.g. by clearly highlighting the pop-up window close button.

In conclusion, I think it is useful to (re) emphasize how the code of ethics could be assumed by operators:
This code of ethics is intended to be a set of rules, to which all those involved in the field of gambling freely consent, realizing that the promotion of moral values is a component of social responsibility and at the same time ensures a positive perception of society. beneficial effects including on their economic activity.
The rules established in this document are complementary in relation to the rules established at national level in the field of commercial communication, as well as in relation to the provisions of the Code for the regulation of audiovisual content, developed by CNA.
This set of rules on responsible commercial communication in the field of gambling is a document subject to the development and constant adaptation to the evolution of the field of gambling, new methods and channels of communication. Suggestions and suggestions for improvement may come from the gambling industry, players, other institutions, as well as from the public, media representatives, NGOs or other organizations interested in responsible gaming communication.

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