BRUSSELS, 30 March 2020 – With increasing global concern about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the health, safety and well-being of the general public is of outmost concern.
During this particularly concerning time for citizens online gambling companies should act socially responsible and ensure that those Europeans who choose to gamble online can continue do so in a safe and secure environment.
In this respect, we strongly oppose the apparent reference to the coronavirus in some recent gambling advertising and urge all online gambling companies to ensure that their:
• Advertising does not refer to the coronavirus, World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus-related statements and/or any other coronavirus-related developments.
• Advertising does not portray gambling as a solution to social, personal or financial problems or invites customers to gamble online as a solution to boredom.
• Advertising and websites contain signposted information about minimum age restrictions, national problem gambling helplines and national self-exclusion registers.
• Customers are closely monitored for problematic gambling behaviour, in compliance with GDPR provisions, and step up interventions when appropriate.
• Websites contain robust and rigorously enforced Know Your Customer (KYC) measures to verify the identity of new customers and prevent minors from gambling.
• Websites contain responsible gambling tools – such as deposit limits and self-exclusion tools – which are actively promoted and visible.
These measures build on actions already being taken by European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) members and others as part of their safer gambling efforts and are in accordance with the European Commission’s “Recommendation 2014/478/EU on consumer protection in online gambling” which provides essential guidelines on safer gambling and responsible commercial communications for online gambling.
We urge online gambling companies to share this information to any affiliate companies they work with and to ensure their brands are not being promoted in an unethical and socially irresponsible manner.
This statement is supported by the following European online gambling associations
AFJEL – Association Française des Opérateurs de Jeu en Ligne (France); APAJO – Associação Portuguesa de Apostas e Jogos Online (Portugal); BAGO – Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (Belgium); BGC – Betting and Gaming Council (UK); BOS – Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (Sweden); DOCV – Deutscher Online Casinoverband (Germany); DOGA – Danish Online Gambling Association (Denmark); DSWV – Deutscher Sportwettenverband (Germany); EGBA – European Gaming and Betting Association (Belgium); IBIA – International Betting Integrity Association (Belgium); iGEN – iGaming European Network (Malta); LOGiCO – Lega Operatori di Gioco su Canale Online (Italy); NBO – Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (Norway); OVWG – Österreichische Vereinigung für Wetten & Glücksspiel (Austria); and Speel Verantwoord (Netherlands).
“EGBA is committed to driving standards across the online gambling sector and these are important measures which we think gambling companies should adopt to protect their customers and ensure their advertising is conducted in an ethical and socially responsible way. We urge all online gambling companies to adhere to them.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General (EGBA).