Portuguese trade association flags influences promoting unlicensed gambling

APAJO says the SRIJ should adopt measures used by other European gambling regulators.
APAJO says the SRIJ should adopt measures used by other European gambling regulators.

APAJO has filed criminal complaints against social media influencers.

Portugal.- The Portuguese online gambling trade association APAJO says it has lodged criminal complaints against several social media content producers for allegedly promoting unlicensed gambling sites to Portuguese players. It called for intervention to prevent the marketing of illegal igaming offerings by influencers.

The complaints name the influencers Bruno Savate, GODMOTA, Cláudia Nayara and Numeiro and the brands Vem Apostar!, Betify, Monro, Weiss, BC Game, Starda, Stake and Wolfi. APAJO says the influencers’ channels on Twitch, TikTok and other platforms reach a combined audience of 2.8 million followers, probably including large numbers of minors.

APAJO said: “In recent days, we have filed criminal complaints against several content producers who promoted illegal gambling through social media to an audience of several million followers. These online gambling operators do not have a licence to operate in Portugal.”

The association estimates that black market gambling costs €100m a year in lost tax revenue for Portugal. It has called for the national gambling regulator, Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), to be given more powers and to adopt the measures used by other European gambling regulators to tackle the issue.

APAJO president Ricardo Domingues said: “The fight against illegal online gambling through legal and other means must be made a priority. The licensed sector wants to highlight the importance of this issue, which is still largely ignored.”

In May, it was confirmed in neighbouring Spain that regulations for social media influencers will be imposed under a new Law on Audiovisual Communication. The bill, believed to be Europe’s first proposed dedicated framework on the industry, will require social media influencers to respect existing rules on gambling advertising among other measures.

Drawn up by the Ministry of the Economy, the bill would establish legal rights for content creators, vloggers and influencers that engage Spanish audiences on social media platforms. This includes intellectual property (IP) rights. However, it also imposes regulations aimed at protecting minors from adult content. Major content creators would have to file their businesses and media profiles with the State Registry of Audiovisual Providers and disclose all activity from which they derive income. They will also assume editorial responsibility for the content on their channels.

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