EGBA highlights 55% drop in gambling ads on IPR-infringing sites

The EGBA stressed that more still needs to be done.
The EGBA stressed that more still needs to be done.

The EGBA has welcomed the results of a study that shows a significant drop in the number of gambling ads from major operators on IPR-infringing sites.

Belgium.- The European Gaming and Betting Association has welcomed a reported 55 per cent decrease in advertising from major gambling brands being placed on websites that breach intellectual property rights in the EU. The figure comes from a new study by the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The study analysed the amount and type of online advertising found on IPR-infringing websites and apps in the EU, including streaming sites for sports, movies and TV shows. It found that advertising from major gambling brands, including EGBA members, on such sites fell by 55 per cent in 2021 despite advertising from all sectors increasing by 26 per cent.

Gambling ads from major brands fell from 18 per cent of all ads on IPR-infringing sites in Q1 to 8 per cent in Q4. However, the percentage of gambling ads overall on IPR-infringing sites, including non-major brands, fell only slightly from 28 per cent in Q1 to 25 per cent in Q4. On mobile apps, gambling accounted for less than 1 per cent of advertising impressions.

The EUIPO noted that advertising can be placed on IPR-infringing websites or apps unintentionally because of the “very complex internet advertising ecosystem”. However, it stressed the risk of such advertising from reputable brands, which it warned can lead consumers to believe that IPR-infringing sites are legal.

The EGBA said it welcomed the progress major brands had made to reduce their placement of advertising on IPR-infringing websites and apps but said that with gambling still representing 25 per cent of all advertising impressions on IPR-infringing websites, more work was needed from the entire gambling sector.

The EGBA has been working with the European Commission and cross-industry stakeholders on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that aims to limit IPR-infringing online advertising. It has encouraged all gambling operators to sign up to the MoU.

EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer said: “I’m pleased to see consistent and significant year-on-year progress by Europe’s major gambling brands, including our members, to reduce the placement of advertising on IPR-infringing websites and apps.

“But there is still more work to do, and we encourage Europe’s gambling operators, and their advertising affiliates, to play their part by ensuring their advertising, and its placement, is conducted in a responsible way. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the European Commission and other stakeholders, at EU-level, to reduce IPR-infringing online advertising.”

Meanwhile, the EGBA has been supporting the European Union’s plan for a harmonised European Digital Identity (E-ID). The digital ID system will allow EU citizens to guard a range of data, such as name, date of birth, bank account numbers, driving licences and proof of Covid-19 vaccination status in a single electronic wallet.

The EGBA has long pushed for more standardised regulation of consumer protection rules across the European Union, noting the great disparity in online gambling regulation across the bloc.

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