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Belgium – EGBA publishes first pan-European code for responsible advertising for online gambling

By - 29 April 2020

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has published the first pan-European Code of Conduct for responsible advertising for online gambling. The Code is broad in scope and introduces essential standards for advertising content, across all media platforms, and dedicated measures for social media. The Code has a particular focus on minor protection.

The Code of Conduct on Responsible Advertising for Online Gambling intends to complement and strengthen existing legal and self-regulatory frameworks for online gambling advertising in Europe. The initiative has been developed in the context of the EU Audio Visual Media Services Directive, which emphasizes the important role of self and co-regulation in protecting minors from exposure to gambling advertising.

The Code includes specific measures on:
Content moderation – how gambling advertising should and should not look like.
Minor protection – no gambling advertising during broadcasts dedicated to minors; age screening tools on social media to protect minors.
First-of-their-kind measures for social media marketing – age-gating on the social media profiles of gambling brands to ensure minors do not have access.
Pioneering measures for sponsorship arrangements – no sponsoring of activities which have a predominant appeal to minors.
Responsible gambling messaging and campaigns.
The Code applies to EGBA members and is open for signature by online gambling companies licensed in the EU/EEA and UK, other gambling associations and representation bodies of the media sector. It is EGBA’s intention to ensure that compliance with the Code is monitored and enforced by an independent third-party.

The Code sets long-term standards for gambling advertising content in Europe and complements EGBA’s more immediate efforts to promote responsible gambling advertising during the coronavirus.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General (EGBA), said: “We’re very pleased to present EGBA’s Code of Conduct for responsible gambling advertising, which promotes high standards for minor protection and socially responsible advertising content. Advertising is essential to inform the consumer of the websites which are regulated and steer them away from rogue black-market websites. But advertising should be responsible and protect consumers, particularly minors. We encourage other gambling companies to sign up to the Code and look forward to engaging with Europe’s authorities to ensure its success.”

EGBA has mandated a third-party to assess the impact of the Code on existing national regulations and self-regulation and a summary of this analysis will be published on EGBA’s website at the beginning of May 2020.

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