Are you advertising illegally?

On 7 June 2018, a collection of organisations, including the European Gaming and Betting Association signed a memorandum of understanding designed “to limit advertising on websites and mobile applications that infringe copyright or disseminate counterfeit goods”. Research conducted has found that the overall number of gambling ads on IP infringing sites has fallen by only 3 percent since the memorandum was signed.

Research by IP infringement tracking company White Bullet estimates that 62 percent of all branded advertising on IP infringing sites is for gambling, more than double the amount for the next largest segment.  This can be found here.

It is important to draw attention to Licence condition 16 of the LCCP which sets out the need for a strict KYC policy and affiliate application process to be in place.  These policies are in place to ensure that, amongst other things, all advertising to UK customers will be compliant with the LCCP and that all adverts are reviewed to make sure that an operator does not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.  Additionally, operator’s must take all reasonable steps to ensure that third parties with whom they contract do similar.

Furthermore, it is important that operators understand where their adverts will be placed.  In order to comply with licence condition 16, operator’s will need to make sure their adverts do not land on websites which appeal to children and ensure that the banners on the adverts clearly state age limits, along with links to the T&C’s and the operator marketing rules (which includes information on minimum deposits, bet restrictions, time restrictions, etc.).  In March 2019, Videoslots was found to have breached gambling advertising regulations as their marketing material appeared on three websites specifically aimed at young people or teenagers.  Going forward, it is likely that more operator’s will be contacted in relation to these advertising breaches.