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Compliance Updates

ASA: new standards protecting children from irresponsible gambling ads

George Miller

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ASA Sanctions 32Red for Breach of Advertising Rules
Photo Source: express.co.uk
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Advertising Standards Authority has published new standards to protect children and young people from irresponsible gambling ads.

This follows a review of the evidence on advertising’s impact on under-18s and rulings by the Advertising Standards Authority. The last review was carried out in 2014.

The evidence suggests that exposure to gambling ads that comply with the UK’s Advertising Codes is, of itself, unlikely to harm under-18s.  Targeted restrictions are still required, however, to address the potential risks associated with irresponsible advertising. While the advertising rules don’t need to change, we have introduced new standards to strengthen how they apply in practice.

 

 

The new standards:

  • prohibit online ads for gambling products being targeted at groups of individuals who are likely to be under 18 based on data about their online interests and browsing behaviour;
  • extensively list unacceptable types of content, including certain types of animated characters, licensed characters from movies or TV and sportspeople and celebrities that are likely to be of particular appeal to children, and references to youth culture; and
  • prohibit the use in gambling ads of sportspersons, celebrities or other characters who are or appear to be under 25; and
  • adds to existing guidance on the responsible targeting of ads, covering all media (including social networks and other online platforms)

In particular, the standards provide examples of scenarios to help advertisers understand what they need to do to target ads away from under-18s. For example:

Social media – gambling operators must use all the tools available to them on a social network platform to prevent targeting their ads at under-18s. This includes both ad targeting facilities provided directly by the platform based, on their platform users’ interests and browsing behaviour, and tools that restrict under-18s’ access to marketers’ own social media content.

Parts of websites for under-18s – gambling operators should take particular care to avoid placing their ads on parts of websites of particular appeal to under-18s. For example, a football club’s website might have a strongly adult audience in general, but it would be inappropriate to place gambling ads in pages dedicated to younger supporters.

Social and online gaming – gambling-like games or games that feature elements of simulated gambling activity are often popular with children and young people. Such games should not be used to promote real-money gambling products. Where social and online games feature marketing communications for gambling games, they should not be directed at under-18s.

Influencers – gambling operators should take particular care when identifying influencers to promote their products or brands. They should take into account the influencer’s likely appeal and obtain audience data (for instance, the age-breakdown of a follower or subscriber-base) to ensure that under-18s are not likely to comprise more than 25% of the audience.

Affiliates – responsibility lies with gambling operators to ensure that affiliates or other third parties acting on their behalf to publish or disseminate ads that comply with the advertising rules.

The new standards will come into force on 1 April 2019.

Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice, Shahriar Coupal, said:

“Playing at the margins of regulatory compliance is a gamble at the best of times, but for gambling advertisers it’s particularly ill-advised, especially when the welfare of children is at stake. Our new standards respond to the latest evidence and lessons from ASA rulings, and require that greater care is taken in the placement and content of gambling ads to ensure they are not inadvertently targeted at under 18s.”

The new regulatory statement should be read in conjunction with:

 

Central Europe

German Regulations Ban Visa and Mastercard from Online Casino Transactions

Niji Narayan

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German Regulations Ban Visa and Mastercard from Online Casino Transactions
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Online casinos targeting German consumers will no longer be able to use Visa or Mastercard services, as a fresh wave of punitive legislation targeted at the iGaming industry and payment providers transferring money to and from online casinos has been unleashed.

Visa has instructed banks in Germany not to accept deposits and withdrawals from online casinos using their cards.

A financial services giant spokesperson said the company recently reached out to its retail banking partners to ensure that “only legal, properly licenced transactions are processed” using its credit cards.

It has also recently emerged that German online casino players do not use their Mastercard credit cards to deposit money and withdraw their winnings from gaming websites. Casinos replied generally that Visa and Mastercard had advised them either to exclude the two companies from their lists of available payment options in Germany or to lose access to Visa and Mastercards in all the markets they work.

Last month, the state of Lower Saxony in Germany ordered an unidentified payment service provider to refrain from handling illicit online gambling transactions, that is, casino websites.

Last summer, the state issued a similar notice again to an unidentified payment agency, which was generally assumed by local media to be PayPal as the company revealed shortly after that notice it was shutting down its services to German online casino players.

Lower Saxony ‘s Minister of Interior and Recreation, Boris Pistorius, said last month that payment service providers are “legally obliged to refrain from making payments in connexion with illegal gambling” and urged them to “critically review and, if necessary immediately stop working with companies that practise illegal gambling.”

Minister Pistorius sent the country’s banking sector a letter earlier in 2020 urging financial institutions to stop the processing of illicit gambling money.

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Compliance Updates

FANDOM SPORTS Retains Segev LLP as Lead Counsel for Global iGaming Licensing

Niji Narayan

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FANDOM SPORTS Retains Segev LLP as Lead Counsel for Global iGaming Licensing
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FANDOM SPORTS Media has retained Segev LLP as lead counsel for all endeavours pertaining to global iGaming licensing. The Company will be undertaking a strategic review to prioritise jurisdictions that will enable the firm to expand its regulatory footprint efficiently and at scale.

Segev LLP employs a strong iGaming team with corporate, commercial, IP commercialisation, M&A, private equity finance, public markets finance, privacy and data, and regulatory and compliance experience.

In advance of the iGaming initiative, the Company has also secured a domain and brand identity surrounding the betting platform. www.gamersatodds.com unifies the business plan and opportunity that the Company will be executing upon.

“We are pleased to take definitive steps towards accelerating our dual initiatives of the all ages Esports engagement platform and the pure play regulated Esports betting platform. Regulated Esports betting is now a mainstream business opportunity and there is an implied quantifiable value for these types of businesses. We look forward to accelerating our licensing initiatives and building a true global Esports betting brand that is fully regulatory and compliant,” David Vinokurov, CEO and President of Fandom Sports, said.

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Compliance Updates

MGA Publishes Consultation Paper on Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements

Niji Narayan

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MGA Publishes Consultation Paper on Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements
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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published a consultation paper on suspicious betting reporting requirements and other sports integrity measures.

In August 2019, the Malta Gaming Authority announced the establishment of a Sports Integrity Unit. It is the Authority’s intention to implement a set of Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements, which will oblige B2C licensees offering betting on sporting events to inform the Authority of any instance of suspicious betting.

Prior to bringing into force these requirements, the Authority is reaching out to stakeholders for feedback on the proposed mechanisms for due consideration. In consolidating perspectives of interested parties through public consultation, the Authority is better placed to implement effective and efficient regulatory processes around suspicious betting in the sports betting sector.

In addition, the Authority is also interested in initiating a dialogue with B2B licensees to consider what their contribution towards sports integrity can look like in terms of detection and exchange of information with either B2C licensees, or the Authority itself.

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