The trend in the gambling industry over the past few years has been to tighten the rules for advertising products and services related to gambling. This is especially true for European markets. The attitude to advertising and to the industry as a whole is fueled by fears of the spread of problem gambling and participation in gambling entertainment for minors.
It is possible to allocate some general principles that integrate the restrictive measures in relation to the advertising of the games based on risk. Outdoor advertising is usually characterized by several such measures. The main one is territorial. This refers to the prohibition of placing advertising banners near educational, medical or spiritual sites. The size of advertising products and/or the content of calls may also be regulated.
For online gambling advertising, the main prohibition is the publication of marketing materials on sites whose audience is underage. The use of cartoon characters may be prohibited in commercials. The main purpose of such bans is to prevent children and adolescents from participating in games.
For advertising on television and radio, the trend of the last year has been to switch to night time. It usually involves the possibility of broadcasting from 22: 00 to 7: 00.
In addition to the above-mentioned rules, it is customary in various countries to regulate the value content of gambling advertising. Thus, it is not allowed to create the impression that the win is something guaranteed, and the risk of losing funds is minimized. In addition, users should not get the impression that gambling increases their social status.
In addition, each country has its own peculiarities of conducting gambling business and advertising gambling products. We offer to consider interesting cases on specific examples.
In Latvia, there is a law prohibiting advertising of gambling games. However, according to local media, the norm does not prevent the latter from appearing on the Internet. Journalists also note that the state does not impose penalties for such violations. The aggravation of the problem was due to the world Cup and the dominance of betting advertising, which fell on the summer of last year. How is this possible? The fact is that the responsibilities for supervision of advertising are divided between two agencies – the consumer protection Center and the Council for supervision of electronic media. The latter organization is an active participant in lawsuits with local TV channels over the illegal broadcast of gambling advertising. But representatives of the consumer protection Center admit that for them, the direction of gambling advertising is simply not a priority.
Representatives of the gambling regulator, for their part, see the solution to the problem in developing amendments at the legislative level that would clearly regulate the range of permitted and prohibited tools. At the moment, no amendments have been made.
The Israeli authorities have been systematically pushing gambling out of the state for several years. A few years ago, slot machines and poker were banned in the jurisdiction, and bookmaking, in fact, is represented by sports lotteries. Lottery operations are in principle the only legal form of gambling. However, the government has repeatedly stated about the possibility of their abolition.
At the same time, local media claim that the more efforts the state makes to restrict gambling, the more interest citizens show in gambling. Thus, the shadow segment of the business that does not have advertising laws is growing.
In France, all types of gambling are legal: both land-based casinos, of which there are more than two hundred in the country, and the online segment. One of the latest news is that the state lottery monopoly is undergoing a process of denationalization and will be transferred to the private sector.
At the same time, it is significant that gambling operators are gradually reducing the amount of spending on advertising. Thus, in the first quarter of 2018, €42 million was spent, and a year earlier, during the same period, French licensees invested €50 million in marketing.
The reduction of funds spent by the operators for advertising, is not a peremptory or categorical in nature.
The ban on gambling advertising in Italy was approved in July 2018. This means limiting direct or indirect advertising, sponsorship, and promotion of services through commercials. Marketing tools such as logo placement and distribution of branded products are also banned.
Despite all the features of the introduction of a strict ban on broadcasting gambling advertising in Italy, users themselves claim that the presence or absence of commercials does not affect their desire to join gambling entertainment in any way.
However, all other methods of communication between the operator and the client are not prohibited. For example, gambling companies are allowed to inform users about promotions, real chances of winning, minimum bet sizes, additional bonuses, and sports betting odds.
Lottery-is exempt from obligations related to the prohibition of advertising services. However, bookmakers no longer have the right to enter into partnership agreements with sports organizations.
Gambling advertising in the Czech Republic was banned in 2017. January 1 of the same year is considered the starting point in the fight against illegal online operators. However, the most current news related to the gambling industry in this country concerns the increase in tax rates for gambling operators. The latter, in turn, claim that the excessive tax burden already negatively affects the industry, helping to redirect the flow of visitors to neighboring countries.
Gambling advertising is also banned in Bulgaria. An interesting fact is that the failure to solve the problem of aggressive advertising broadcast on national television caused the dismissal of the head of the gambling regulator.
Estonia may be the first country in Eastern Europe to ban gambling advertising. And it happened back in 1997. The only marketing promotion tool for Estonian operators has remained the premises of gambling facilities.
In January of this year was developed a complex of measures aimed at regulating the advertising of gambling in Greece. Targeted measures are aimed at regulating online gambling. Thus, under the new rules, operators are prohibited from using offensive symbols or music in marketing videos. In addition, ads should not block or block part of the user’s device screen.
A special rule is that ads cannot be targeted at people who have previously entered themselves in the self-exclusion list.
The Belgian gambling Commission (BGC) has launched a consultation on new advertising restrictions that came into effect on June 1 last year. The Agency wants to understand the problems that operators face when complying with the new measures. Control standards were introduced to improve the protection of Belgian players. At the same time, the government acknowledged that online gambling advertising had become ubiquitous, resulting in disappointing statistics – more than a million players registered with licensed operators.
As a result, advertising of online casino games on television was completely banned, and slot machines were recognized as a particularly risky form of play.
Currently, sports betting advertising is still allowed on all channels, although it is strictly limited. Such messages should not be displayed during live broadcasts, but are allowed before and after the event. There is also a fifteen-minute window before and after broadcasts of sports events, designed for children and young people. Accordingly, advertising of gambling companies is also strictly prohibited during this window.
Marketing messages about bonuses, as well as offers of compensation for losses to players, are allowed to be placed only on the operator’s website.
Players were also restricted – a weekly gambling limit of 500 euros was introduced. You can increase it, but you need to get permission sent to the regulatory body three days before the planned spending over the norm.