Members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) announced Tuesday they have made progress in their responsible advertising efforts, according to the first independent monitoring of their responsible advertising code. A report found that there is a solid basis for responsible advertising due to the code’s "comprehensive and detailed content."
The monitoring was conducted by the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), a Brussels-based association representing Europe’s self-regulatory organizations for advertising. Based on the results, EASA also suggested improvements that could be made to strengthen the code and its application.
The pan-European responsible advertising code for online gambling was established by EGBA in 2020 and covers advertising content, social media, minor protection and responsible gambling messaging. EGBA members already correctly apply most of its measures, the monitoring found, particularly on content moderation.
"Monitoring is an integral part of the code and EGBA members will have their compliance periodically monitored by an independent third party to improve the code’s effectiveness and ensure it is kept up to date," the trade association said.
EGBA commissioned EASA to monitor the code during the Euro 2020 football tournament in 2021. EASA was assisted by Nielsen, a major advertising analytics company, which collected 1240 adverts from EGBA members in four countries including Greece, Romania, Ireland and Sweden. EASA then assessed the collected adverts, which included TV ads, online pre-rolls, static and animated online banners, along with the social media accounts of EGBA members.
In their conclusions, shared with EGBA in June 2022, EASA gave positive feedback about the code, while it suggested that it could be strengthened further, particularly on the clarity of the responsible gambling message in the adverts (both in terms of legibility and speed), the explicit mention of legal age requirements for online gambling, the provision of a forward advice notice, and age-gating mechanisms on social media profiles. EGBA members will next discuss how to utilize and implement the feedback from EASA to further strengthen the overall effectiveness of the code.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA, said: “We are pleased with the monitoring results and the progress our members are making in promoting responsible advertising. 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."
“We encourage other operators to sign up to the code and join our efforts to raise responsible advertising standards. The industry must get serious about responsible and measured advertising, especially with the World Cup coming up later this year, otherwise the pressure of advertising restrictions will continue to pile on," he concluded.