World Regulatory Briefing report
self-regulatory rules. French gambling regulator the ANJ has witnessed double digit-growth especially in marketing for sports betting. The protests that resulted were the trigger for them to launch a consultation to bring in a more responsible approach. The aim was to co- construct regulation and produce a charter with the industry to set out a future path. It was not easy to get industry agreement, said Christel Fiorina of ANJ, but they pushed ahead with a new framework with recommendations to operators and the requirement to pre-agree strategies ahead of implementation. The result has been quite positive: a couple of campaign have been removed and strategies rejected as too risky but the industry is responding to the new environment. Where Fiorina saw big challenges in future was on social platforms which are attracting more investment from operators especially on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat which are popular with young people, and in the use of influencers. Andy Taylor Regulatory Policy Executive with the Committee of Advertising Practice in the UK agreed saying that regulators are having to come to terms with more marketing taking place online and in the digital space. “Online is part of the digital life for young people and there is a need not only to direct ads away from kids but also stay on the right side of the line in terms of appeal to young people,” he said. CAP recently published the results of research into the impact of liberalisation which it has used to justify greater restrictions on adverts with a strong appeal to under-18s. These are an extension of the previous position (which dealt mainly with cartoons) to include sports, celebrities and positioning around video games. Whilst the use of digital and programmatic advertising adds a new layer of complexity, it may, paradoxically, reduce leakage of inappropriate ads towards an unintended
audience. Panelists concluded that technology can be our friend in a future where adtech may be a way for operators to demonstrate they have improved targeting. Speaking with one voice The World Regulatory Briefing had a red thread running through it as speakers representing different parts of the industry called for harmonization and collaboration. This call was supported by Dr Margaret Carren , Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the City University of London. Her work on European regulation suggested, at first glance, a high degree of convergence. Dig deeper, she said, and there were still huge variations which are hard to explain. Cultural differences are used to justify factors such as ID verification methods, age limits, length of self-exclusion and the process for reinstating. The differences are even starker when it comes to a common understanding of what constitutes gambling harms and any sense of a shared approach to prevention and treatment. Her conclusion was that it is practically impossible to make any meaningful comparisons across jurisdictions begging the question how can regulators keep pace with novel product offerings when we can’t even agree on common standards of regulation. The calls for dialogue, common approaches and collaboration came in support of regulation, marketing and the identification and treatment of harms. But panellists at the World Regulatory Briefing were very clear about the price the industry would pay if those calls are not heeded. The UK, one of the American speakers pointed out, was a highly channelized and well-regulated market but faced the prospect of significant restrictions due to the failure on the part of some to improve its reputation among politicians and the media. Meanwhile the rest of the world looks on with interest to see what the outcome will be.
Phil Savage is IMGL’s Head of Publications and European Affairs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org +44 7778 635836
46 • IMGL Magazine • April 2022
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