IMGL Magazine April 2022

World Regulatory Briefing report

IMGL President Marc Elinger moderating the World Regulatory Briefing with European regulators Isobelle Falque Pierrotin, Mikel Arena, Dr. Jörg Ukrow and Rene Jansen.

Matthias Dahms , President of DSWV the German sports betting association agreed that without high channelisation, all other regulatory approaches will fail. He emphasized the importance of customers being able to distinguish between legal and illegal operators, a theme which was picked up by Birgitte Sand. She recommended a simple labelling scheme to inform consumers to identify regulated sites but also saw education as an essential public health activity. Whether it was labelling, education or simply allowing licensed operators to promote their products, all the panellists agreed that measures which restricted or prevented licensed operators from promoting their services were counterproductive if channelization was the aim. Morten Ronde , CEO of the Danish Online Gambling Association said that when you consider the advantages that offshore rivals have in terms of costs, the ability to market themselves as legal was almost the only benefit of seeking a license. Matthias Dahms agreed, advising regulators to be very cautious on what restrictions they impose as competitiveness quickly erodes and with it any hope of high channelization. Channelisation, he said, is not just a guide for regulators, it’s also the foundation of protection and the only means to give the regulator chance to achieve its goals whether its tax or protection. Where there is a focus on channelisation it provides a foundation for everything else. Bill Pascrell of Princeton Public Affairs Group summer up the session saying the best way to have a successful market is by strong collaboration between the regulator and the industry. When the industry is one newspaper headline away

from a strong reaction from regulators it makes sense for it to develop a good housekeeping seal of approval which would build confidence among regulators and the public. Regulation and self-regulation in marketing Marketing, advertising and promotion are always under the regulatory spotlight as consumers and consequently politicians react to a high volume of activity. The industry has long been advised to try to reach a consensus around marketing spend rather than engage in a quick land grab of customers before the tap is turned off by the regulator. Achieving such self restraint has proved hard to do in many markets but can still be a goal, argued Tudor Manda of the European Advertising Standards Alliance. “There is a clear distinction between the roles of regulation and self-regulation,” he said. “Regulation sets the minimum standard required to protect consumers, whereas effective self-regulation can help the industry to avoid crossing the regulatory line. It is independent and goes beyond the regulatory necessities ideally with third-party experts who can increase trust with public, legislators and competitors. We are at a point where compliance is not enough: taking care of consumers goes beyond the law and this should be seen in adverts which show responsibility and care and don’t attempt to circumvent the regulation.” Self regulation has been adopted by half of the EASA membership. They monitor ad content and in some cases regulators in their jurisdictions require marketers to abide by

IMGL Magazine • April 2022 • 45

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