Online gambling advertising is facing tighter regulations in different parts of the world as concerns grow about the impact of such ads on vulnerable individuals. In Argentina, Congresswoman Marcela Campagnoli has put forward a bill that aims to impose more rigorous restrictions on online gambling advertising. The primary goal of the bill is to curb the rise of compulsive online gambling.
Campagnoli expressed that the intention is to emulate the regulations that were once applied to cigarette advertising. The core of the proposed legislation revolves around limiting the time slots during which online gambling ads can be aired.
The bill specifies that advertising for online or virtual gambling will be restricted to television, radio, and online media platforms, but only between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Furthermore, the bill suggests banning the use of debit cards for betting payments and imposes rules on the content of ads, which must be neutral and refrain from directly enticing users. Advertisements promoting recruitment bonuses are also slated for prohibition.
This approach echoes similar actions taken by other countries. The Netherlands, for example, recently implemented a ban on untargeted ads for online gambling services. The Dutch Government‘s restrictions, which took effect in July, cover various forms of media such as television, radio, print, and public spaces. While advertising for online gambling is permitted if properly targeted, language that encourages irresponsible behavior is prohibited.
Ireland is joining the movement as well, with a Gambling Regulation Bill proposal suggesting a ban on ads between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Some companies respond with increased ad spending
Amid the threat of stricter regulations, some gambling companies are taking preemptive measures. Sportsbet, for instance, is increasing its marketing expenditure in Australia to proactively address potential advertising bans. A federal parliamentary committee recommended a phased advertising ban over three years, and the prevailing political atmosphere appears to favor more restrictions or even bans.
However, online betting operators are not simply acquiescing. Many, represented by Responsible Wagering Australia, argue that blanket bans won’t effectively deter problem gamblers, who might resort to illegal offshore platforms.
Market analysts highlight that sports betting-related advertising has significantly contributed to the growth of Australian media companies over the past decade. The revenue generated from gambling ads has seen an annual increase of around 13% for the past 15 years, ballooning from $53 million in 2007 to $300 million in 2022.
What’s to come for sports betting advertising
As the NFL preseason unfolds and anticipation builds for the start of the regular season in September, ad spending surges and fresh marketing campaigns take the stage. However, uncertainties persist around the sponsorship of gambling companies.
While professional football remains a powerhouse in the US, the rules surrounding NFL players’ betting activities can be unclear. The NFL is looking toward the NBA for insights into this arena. The NBA set a precedent by forming official sports betting partnerships with both DraftKings and FanDuel last year.
Industry analysts note that the NFL is gradually addressing the intricate questions related to sports betting, but the rapid growth of online gambling and digital ads could expedite decision-making. Striking a balance between gambling ads and other sectors vying for increased advertising exposure is becoming an increasingly complex challenge.
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