EGBA members make responsible advertising progress with first code monitoring exercise

The first independent monitoring of EGBA’s pan-European responsible advertising code found that the code provides a solid basis for responsible advertising, due to its comprehensive and detailed content, and EGBA members already correctly apply most of its measures.

Brussels, Today – Members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) have made progress in their responsible advertising efforts according to the first independent monitoring of the association’s pan-European responsible advertising code. The monitoring was conducted by the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA),[1] the Brussels-based association representing Europe’s self-regulatory organisations for advertising, who found that the EGBA code is a solid basis for responsible advertising and EGBA members[2] already apply most of its measures. 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. 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.

EGBA commissioned EASA to monitor the code during the Euro 2020 football tournament in 2021. EASA were assisted by Nielsen, a major advertising analytics company, who collected 1240 adverts from EGBA members, in four countries (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, stating that it provides a solid basis for responsible advertising, due to its comprehensive and detailed content, and EGBA members already correctly apply most of its measures in their advertising, particularly on content moderation. EASA suggested that the code 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,[3] and age-gating mechanisms on social media profiles.

As a next step, EGBA members will discuss how to utilise and implement the feedback from EASA to further strengthen the overall effectiveness of the code.

“We’re 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.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

[1] EGBA consulted with EASA for advice on its code but this in no way implies that EASA or its members endorse the code in any form, which remains under EGBA’s responsibility.

[2] EGBA members as of 1 May 2021.

[3] EGBA’s code of conduct on responsible advertising encourages signatories to include a “forward advice notice” in the main page of their social media profiles. This notice discourages adults users of the page to not forward gambling related content to minors.

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About EGBA

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gambling operators established, licensed, and regulated within the EU, including bet365, Betsson Group, Entain, Flutter, Kindred Group, and William Hill. EGBA works together with national and EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes account of the realities of the internet and online consumer demand. EGBA member companies meet the highest regulatory standards and, in 2020, had 234 online gambling licenses to provide their services to 29 million customers across 19 different European countries. Currently, EGBA members account for 36% of Europe’s online gambling gross gaming revenue (GGR).

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