EU sees major gambling brands adverts halved on IPR-infringing websites in 2021
EGBA welcomes the 55% decrease in advertising from major gambling brands in the EU being placed on websites which infringe upon intellectual property rights and will continue to promote an EU initiative to further reduce IPR-infringing online advertising in the gambling sector.
Brussels, Today – A new study by the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found a significant reduction in advertising from major gambling brands on websites and mobile apps which infringe on intellectual property rights (IPR). The study found, during 2021, advertising from major gambling brands – including EGBA members – had decreased by 55% on IPR-infringing websites in the EU, despite overall advertising from all sectors increasing by 26%.
The study analysed the amount and type of online advertising found on IPR-infringing websites and apps in the EU, such as streaming sites for sports, movies or tv shows. These websites and apps generate revenue by selling advertising space and, according to EUIPO, advertising from legitimate brands can be placed on these websites or apps unintentionally because of the “very complex internet advertising ecosystem”. The presence of advertising for brands on IPR-infringing websites and apps can confuse consumers and mislead them to believe that the content provided on these websites or apps is legal.
On IPR-infringing websites, EUIPO found a significant 55% decrease – from 18% in Q1 to 8% in Q4 – in major gambling brand advertising during 2021, which follows a previous 20% decrease in 2020. The study also found that, in 2021, advertising from all gambling brands – including major brands and other brands – had decreased marginally on IPR-infringing websites, from 28% in Q1 to 25% in Q4. In terms of mobile apps, gambling accounted for less than 1% of advertising impressions for apps.
EGBA welcomes the progress made in recent years to reduce the placement of advertising from major gambling brands, including EGBA members, on IPR-infringing websites and apps. However, EGBA recognises that, with gambling representing 25% of advertising impressions on IPR-infringing websites, there is still more work to be done by the entire gambling sector to ensure its advertising does not support IPR-infringing online content.
In recent years, EGBA has been working closely with the European Commission and various cross-industry stakeholders, at EU-level, within the framework of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which aims to limit IPR-infringing online advertising. The MoU is a voluntary agreement and is facilitated and coordinated by the European Commission. The MoU is open to all partners and EGBA encourages gambling operators to join EGBA and its members in signing up to the MoU and its aims.
“I’m pleased to see consistent and significant, year-on-year progress by Europe’s major gambling brands, including our members, to reduce the placement of advertising on IPR-infringing websites and apps. But there is still more work to do, and we encourage Europe’s gambling operators, and their advertising affiliates, to play their part by ensuring their advertising, and its placement, is conducted in a responsible way. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the European Commission and other stakeholders, at EU-level, to reduce IPR-infringing online advertising.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).
 Major brands are those brands which are selected top advertiser lists or are otherwise premium reputable established brands with a strong search engine presence, including EGBA members.
 Other brands are those brands that are not major but are also not fraudulent, or malicious.
A summary of the study
- Advertising impressions – for all brands and all sectors – increased by 26% during 2021.
- Advertising impressions for Gambling, for all brands, decreased from 28% in Q1 to 25% in Q4 (see Figure 10), a decrease from 30% in 2020.
- The top sectors for advertising impressions on websites, from all brands, were Arts & Entertainment (43%) (including gaming), followed by Gambling (25%), Technology & Computing (13%), and Shopping (11%) (see Figure 9).
- For major brands, advertising impressions from Gambling decreased from 18% in Q1 to a low of 6% in Q3, ending at 8% in Q4 (see Figure 12).
- The top sectors for advertising impressions from major brands were Arts & Entertainment (43%), Technology & Computing (18%), Shopping (13%), and Gambling (13%) (see Figure 11).
- In terms of top sectors by country, the predominant sector for advertising impressions on websites, from all brands, was Arts & Entertainment (ranked first in ten EU countries as well as the UK), followed by Gambling (ranked first in five countries: Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain) (see Table 6).
- Similar to advertising impressions from all brands, Arts & Entertainment was the predominant sector for major brand advertising (ranked first in nine EU countries as well as the UK), while Gambling was the top-ranked sector for major brands in three countries (Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia) (see Table 7).
- The predominant sector for advertising impressions, for all brands, was Arts & Entertainment (54%). Gambling was ranked tenth, accounting for 0.6% of advertising impressions on mobile apps.
- Of major brands, Gambling was ranked seventh, accounting for 1.6% of advertising impressions on mobile apps.
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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gaming and betting 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 regulatory authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account 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).