EGBA reveals pan-European online gambling advertising code

The European Gaming and Betting Association has published the first pan-European code for the responsible advertising of online gambling.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has published the first pan-European code of conduct for the responsible advertising of online gambling, focusing on the protection of minors.

According to the EGBA’s announcement, the Code of Conduct on Responsible Advertising for Online Gambling is intended to complement and strengthen the existing legal and self-regulatory framework for online gambling advertising in Europe.

The new advertising code

The new advertising code was developed in the context of the EU Audio Visual Media Services Directive, which places a strong emphasis on self- and co-regulation in the protection of minors from exposure to gambling advertising. The code is made up of a range of specific measures.

The measures include a section on content moderation and how gambling advertising should look and what they should not look like.

Another section focuses on the protection of minors where gambling products should not be advertised during broadcasts dedicated to minors. This section also covers the use of age screening tools on social media platforms to protect children.

The code also includes measures for social media marketing which will be the first of their kind. These measures will include age-gating on social media profiles of gambling companies preventing minors from accessing them.

The new code will also include sponsorship arrangements where operators must agree not to sponsor activities that predominantly appeal to minors, as well as a section on responsible gambling messages and campaigns.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the EGBA, said: “We’re very pleased to present EGBA’s Code of Conduct for responsible gambling advertising, which promotes high standards for minor protection and socially responsible advertising content. Advertising is essential to inform the consumer of the websites which are regulated and steer them away from rogue black-market websites. But advertising should be responsible and protect consumers, particularly minors.

“We encourage other gambling companies to sign up to the Code and look forward to engaging with Europe’s authorities to ensure its success.”

The EGBA said it intends to ensure compliance with the code is monitored and enforced by an independent third-party. The Association added that the code will support the ongoing efforts to promote responsible gambling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new advertising code will apply to all EGBA members and other online gambling companies licensed in the EU, European Economic Area and the UK will be able to sign up to the new measures.

Responsible gambling advertising in the UK

This news comes after UK gambling operators agreed to make changes to advertising practices in the UK.

Earlier this week, members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have agreed to voluntarily stop all advertising across television and radio while the UK remains under lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the BGC announcement, members of the industry body will stop all audiovisual advertising by 7 May, and the measure will stay in place until at least 5 June. The restriction on audiovisual advertising will only be reviewed once lockdown measures in the UK have been relaxed.

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