Kindred has been a member and contributor of The European, Gaming and Betting Association, EGBA, since its foundation in 2007. EGBA is an industry body based in Brussels and represents the online gaming and betting operators who are licensed in the EU.
The main objective of EGBA is to create a safe and reliable environment for online gamblers in Europe. One way to achieve this is to ensure that regulated offers can be attractive enough to appeal to the maximum number of players and channel them away from unregulated offers.
This spring, EGBA published the first pan-European Code of Conduct on 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. There is also a focus on minor protection. The intent of the Code is to complement and strengthen existing legal and self-regulatory frameworks for online gambling advertising in Europe.
We had the opportunity to ask Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General at EGBA some questions regarding this first pan-European Code of Conduct:
What is the intention of the Code?
The Code of Conduct on Responsible advertising for online gambling is the first set of pan-European self-regulatory rules for responsible and sustainable advertising for online gambling. The Code does not intend to replace, but rather complement and strengthen existing legal and self-regulatory frameworks for online gambling advertising in Europe.
Has a code regarding this area ever been conducted before?
This initiative is the first coordinated sectoral response to the need for taking practical action on responsible advertising. Signatory gambling operators commit to essential consumer and minor protection standards to ensure their brands are being promoted in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
How will it be executed?
Signatory parties have agreed to be monitored for compliance with the Code in a transparent, participative and accountable manner and to this end, EGBA will assign the Code’s monitoring to an independent third party.
The Code includes specific measures on:
- Content moderation – what 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 of Conduct is applied at all markets and to understand how this is applied in the daily work we talked to Jonas Daag who is Kindred´s General Manager Sweden. Jonas says:
"We are applying the Code of Conduct in all marketing processes in order to check-list and make sure we are balanced in our materials and marketing campaigns. Kindred has always been in the front-field of responsible gambling and advertising. Together with a very clear Code of Conduct, our marketing teams are well catered with a responsible framework moving forward."
Jonas, why is this code so important?
The marketing field is often very abstract and encompasses external agencies, actors and ambassadors. A code of conduct gives concrete guidance to all parties involved. I also believe that it is as important for the entire industry to align upon, in order to make sure that all operators work under sustainable principles. This is by far the most important topic for the coming years.
Can you see any learnings from others?
There are still differences between operators and markets. In general, I’d say that the quality of advertising and responsibility taken have improved in the last six months. Watching the local landscape in Sweden, we can see both the messages and the volumes to be much more balanced and responsible.