Casinos for youWhen adopting measures to improve practices in the industry, independent monitoring is essential to maintain and improve processes. Recent monitoring of the EGBA advertising code reveals how this leads to success.
An independent monitoring project of the European Gaming & Betting Association’s (EGBA) advertising code concluded that it is the basis for a successful marketing approach. The organisation used data collected from four pan-European nations in the EGBA membership pool during a critical marketing period for operators from the continent.
A Brussels-based association, European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), reported that the code provides clear guidelines on responsible gambling advertising practices, but there is room for improvement. The EASA made suggestions, and the trade association lauded its members for the positive findings.
EGBA Members in Line with Code
The EGBA established its pan-European responsible advertising code for online gambling in 2020, and it covers advertising content, social media, minor protection, and responsible gambling messaging.
An integral part of upholding the code is periodic external monitoring of member compliance. The trade association members include Kindred Group, Flutter, Entain, and other top European brands.
In 2021, the EGBA commissioned EASA to monitor its members in code compliance during the Euro 2020 football tournament. EASA and the major advertising analytics company, Nielsen, collected and assessed data from 1240 advertisements during the tournament. The project covered marketing material from companies in Greece, Romania, Ireland, and Sweden and a variety of media.
In its press release, the EGBA disclosed the EASA’s findings:
“In their conclusions, shared with EGBA in June 2022, EASA gave positive feedback about the code, stating that it provides a solid basis for responsible advertising due to its comprehensive and detailed content.”
The EASA assessed TV ads, online pre-rolls, static and animated online banners, as well as EGBA members’ social media accounts. They concluded that EGBA members correctly apply most measures specified in the code, specifically the content moderation details.
Constructive Criticism Welcome
Although the organisation found the code and its implementation to be a solid basis for responsible advertising, it expressed the need for further clarity in specific areas.
The EASA pointed out that responsible gambling messages should be more legible, and the code must specify the speed of these messages. Other suggestions include specifics on mentioning the legal age for online gambling, forward advice notices, and age-gating on social media.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General at EGBA, commented on the feedback:
“We thank EASA for their critical but constructive approach. Advertising is an essential tool to inform the public of which gambling operators are licensed and regulated – and it can be done responsibly.”
The EGBA and its members will discuss the best way forward to adopt the suggestions and strengthen the overall effectiveness of the code.
A Vital Time for Responsible Advertising Adoption
Members of the EGBA account for more than a third of Europe’s online gambling revenues and cover 19 different EU countries. More gambling regulators work toward rigid advertising laws to curb gambling harm and exposure to minors, but the EGBA believes reasonable practices by operators can turn a page for the industry.
Haijer encouraged more licensed operators to join the association and raise the bar for responsible advertising like its current members have. He believes that along with the upcoming World Cup, legislators may increase pressure on operators if they don’t take accountability for safe advertising themselves.
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