The new Code of Conduct on Responsible Advertising for Online Operators published by EGBA (Part two)
By Joc Responsabil
The European Gambling and Gambling 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 new Code also introduces rules regarding the protection of minors, thus recommending that marketing in the field of gambling should not harm or exploit the susceptibility, aspirations, naivety, lack of experience or knowledge of minors. In addition, marketing actions in this area should not be aimed at or specifically designed to attract minors.
Thus, marketing in the gambling industry should:
– Clearly define the information / contain a clear message regarding the minimum age for accessing gambling;
– Do not contain statements that gambling marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood;
– Do not invite minors to gamble.
At the same time, the marketing of gambling activities should NOT use:
– Cartoon characters, which have become a symbol and are common among children, as is the case with animals, pirates or fairy tale characters;
– Comic figures that have an attractive effect on minors;
– Other fictional characters that minors are especially attracted to, for example superheroes;
– Celebrities from movies, programs or events whose primary audience is minors;
– Adults, as if they were below the legal minimum limit for gambling or imitating minors;
– Adolescent, childish or rude behavior.
An important role in the adoption by gambling operators of a responsible behavior is also played by responsible communication and the messages they use in the communication strategy. Thus, according to the new Code of Conduct, responsible gaming messages inform players about the risks associated with gambling and encourage appropriate behavior towards them. Messages can be formulated in different ways, such as: “Winners know when to stop” or “If you don’t have fun anymore, stop!”.
Where possible, responsible gaming communication messages should:
– To be included in the marketing section in the field of gambling existing on the operator’s website;
– Be clearly worded so that they can be read;
– Include information on TEL-GREEN lines designed to help both gambling players and their families.
The content of the marketing heading in the field of gambling must also include the following information:
– Specific symbol for the age of over 18 or the legal minimum age for gambling;
– Link to the representative website that provides information on responsible gaming;
– Terms and conditions, where applicable;
– Conditions for betting;
– Local requirements that will differ depending on the country-specific way of granting gambling operating licenses.
At the same time, marketing actions in the field of gambling should not be broadcast during programs in the audio-visual environment or on digital platforms where minors are expected to be the main audience. This includes TV commercial breaks that take place immediately before or after the broadcast of shows / programs for minors. These actions are also prohibited from being carried out in printed publications intended for minors and, at the same time, may not be reproduced or marketed in the form of clothing or other products whose sole purpose is the use of minors.
Regarding responsible gaming campaigns, gambling operators have the opportunity to conduct them individually or in collaboration with other operators, in order to increase awareness of this concept among gambling practitioners. These campaigns may include specific links or references that refer to information about gambling issues and effective tools for managing them.
These campaigns should:
– To include only information about responsible gaming, not to invite gambling or to induce the idea of offering certain bonuses after playing them;
– To run for a period of time long enough for these messages to be read, heard and understood on any channel in which marketing actions take place in the field of gambling.