EU operators slash advertising on pirate sites

The share of European gambling ads on IPR-infringing sites fell 20%.
The share of European gambling ads on IPR-infringing sites fell 20%.

The EC has applauded the results of gaming operators’ action to try to reduce unintentional ad placements on pirate sites.

Belgium.- The European Commission (EC) has welcomed the results of steps taken by the gaming industry to reduce the unintentional placement of ads on sites offering pirated content.

In a report into the effectiveness of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by operators in July 2018, the EC said the arrangement had raised awareness among brands.

Increased controls led to an above-average drop in the number of gambling ads appearing on sites that infringe on intellectual property rights (IPR).

The EC said the total number of adverts on IPR-infringing websites across all sectors in Europe had fallen 12 per cent since the introduction of the MoU, while the number of ads shown from major gambling brands in Europe has fallen by 20 per cent.

The EU’s 2018 MoU led signees, which include the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), to increase efforts to stop ads appearing on sites that offer material such as illegally streamed live sports as well as sites and apps that sell counterfeit goods or offer pirated content.

The EGBA welcomed the progress made. Secretary general Maarten Haijer said: “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.

“This initiative proves that greater cooperation at EU-level can benefit the sector and how it is able to respond to the challenges it faces, including on advertising.”

The EGBA launched a pan-European code of conduct for gambling advertising in April but in a recent interview with Focus Gaming News, Haijer said the industry needed to do more to avoid facing further restrictions.

The association has also called on the EU to introduce a set of pan-European consumer rights specifically for the online gaming sector to ensure players are protected equally in all EU territories.

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