April 28th, 2020 saw the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) publish its pan-European ‘Code of Conduct on Responsible Advertising for Online Gambling’. The intention of the Code of Conduct was to come alongside existing legal frameworks and support them by filling in any gaps in the protection of minors and at-risk players.
In keeping with the EU Audio Visual Media Services Directive, the Code pays special attention to social media and broad-reach marketing campaigns where youth could be negatively influenced by gambling advertising.
EASA Audit Results
The EGBA tasked the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) with a gap-analysis study which compared the Code of Conduct with the existing gambling advertising standards of Belgium, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The results of the gap analysis showed that the EGBA Code of Conduct would have an immediate positive impact on the 15 regions surveyed given that:
- 13/15 regions have no specific gambling advertising standards in their framework
- 9/15 regions have little or no regulations which specifically protect minors from gambling advertising
- 13/15 regions have no policies relating to responsible gambling advertising on social media
- 11/15 regions allow unfettered sporting and celebrity sponsorships by gambling brands
- 5/15 regions have no requirement for responsible gambling promotion in advertising
In response to their findings Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of the EASA, said:
“This initial analysis demonstrates how EGBA’s Code can already strengthen responsible advertising measures in a number of European countries. With its dedicated measures for social media and minor protection, the Code will drive industry standards for responsible advertising and help strengthen consumer protection for European citizens.”
As a further show of good faith, the EGBA has announced that they do not intend to be the driving force behind the Code of Conduct. Their vision is to have it monitored and enforced by a trusted independent 3rd party.