EGBA introduces pan-European responsible advertising code

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 30 Apr 2020, 3:02 p.m.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has published the first pan-European code of conduct related to responsible online advertising. This step is of great importance for the audience protection policy, especially protecting the minors when online. Another regulatory body which recently announced an advertising action plan was the Betting and Gaming Council, which released a 10-point action guide in order to protect players from gambling harm. In addition, the ASA works closely on keeping the quality of content, ads and player’s online safety at its highest level.

The code of conduct introduces new standards for advertising content across all media platforms, with a special accent on social media. The code pledges to complement existing legal and regulatory frameworks for online gambling across Europe, including the UK.

This guide is developed in the context of the EU Audio Visual Media Services Directive. This directive emphasises the role of self and co-regulation in protecting minors from exposure to gambling advertising. The code of conduct features a range of specific measures, including a section on content moderation and how gambling advertising should look. The code suggests that adverts should not be shown during broadcasts dedicated to minors, while also setting out details regarding age screening tools on social media.

What is the EGBA?

The EGBA is a Brussels-based trade association body that represents the biggest online gambling operators that are licenced in the EU. Members include William Hill, GVC Holding, Kindred Group and Bet365. The membership base serves over 16.5 million customers across Europe.

The objective of the Code

The objectives of this Code are to enhance consumer and minor protection through the promotion of responsible advertising measures. The Code reflects EGBA’s commitment to ensure that gambling is a safe and responsible pastime. Its aim is to set a long-term standard for gambling advertising content in Europe and complement EGBA’s efforts to promote safe advertising during these unprecedented times.

Code Application

The code applies to all signatory online gambling companies and their contracted affiliates and intermediaries such as influencers, brand ambassadors etc. EGBA aims to ensure that compliance with the provisions of this Code is regularly monitored in a transparent, accountable and participative manner by an independent third-party.

EGBA has commissioned a third-party analysis of the Code impact on existing regulatory and self-regulatory measures in 14 EU countries and the UK. Appropriate summary of the analysis is expected to be published on EGBA’s website at the beginning of May.

The EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer said that advertising is essential in order to inform the consumer for businesses that are regulated, compliant and distinguish them from the rouge black market. Moreover, they are very pleased to present this code of conduct for responsible advertising which promotes high standards for protection and socially responsible advertising content.  They strongly encourage the companies to sign up for the code and look forward to engaging with Europe’s authorities to ensure its success.