The European Commission (EC) has given a positive assessment of a push by the gambling industry to target one area of gambling advertising concern.
The EC has praised the effect of an industry-led Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that it says has helped to cut the unintentional use of gambling ads on sites that offer pirated content by 20%.
Agreed back in 2018, the MoU involved a number of sectors coming together to limit advertising on sites that were involved in infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR), including those offering illegal streams of live sport, as well as mobile apps that breach copyright or sell fake goods. The MoU was signed by a range of industry associations representing various industries that widely advertise online, including he European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).
In a report into the effectiveness of the MoU, the EC said that the arrangement had helped to create greater awareness among European brands that their advertising might end up on websites that are in breach of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The EC said that the share of total adverts for European businesses found on IPR-infringing websites had fallen 12% since the MoU was introduced, with gambling ads representing major brands across Europe having dropped by 20% since the MoU was launched. In a statement, the EGBA said that they welcomed the report and the progress that has been made:
“Most reputable companies do not intend to advertise on IPR-infringing websites, but it happens and is difficult to control, and EGBA acknowledges that remedial action is needed to prevent it. That is why we have been actively engaging with the European Commission and other stakeholders to take action and are pleased those efforts are beginning to bear fruit.”
Speaking about the commitment of the EGBA to boosting responsible and safe practice in the industry, the Secretary General, Maarten Haijer said that the initiative showed that Europe-wide co-operation can prove beneficial.
The publication of the EC report comes just a few weeks after the EGBA called for the introduction of a new code of consumer rights focusing on the online gambling sector for the whole of the European Union. The Association said that despite the cross-border nature of the modern gambling sector, online players were not equally protected across the EU, with each member state able to create and implement its own set of gambling regulations.
The association’s pan-European advertising code, which was launched in April, aims to focus on responsible advertising for online gambling and the protection of minors. It has been backed by the European Association for TV and Radio Sales Houses (EGTA), who gave their approval in July.