The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has welcomed a new report published by the European Commission (EC) which has found a significant reduction in ‘unintentional advertising on intellectual property rights infringing websites’.
The report analysed the impact of an industry-led Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), initially agreed in 2018, which ‘was established with the purpose of limiting advertising on websites, such as illegal sports streaming sites, and mobile applications that infringe copyright or disseminate counterfeit goods’.
The EC found that the MoU had generated greater awareness among a number of brands, including EGBA members, that their advertising may end up on websites that infringe intellectual property rights (IPR).
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA, commented: “EGBA welcomes the progress made by EGBA members and other major gambling brands in significantly reducing the unintentional placement of their advertising on IPR-infringing websites and is pleased that major online gambling companies are playing a central role in EU efforts to crack down on IPR infringement.
“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.”
According to the report, the share of total advertising for European businesses on IPR-infringing websites was reduced by 12% since the introduction of the MoU, while gambling advertising from Europe’s major brands decreased by 20%, from 62% to 50% during the reporting period.
The EGBA highlighted the success of the MoU, praising the ‘benefits of cooperation at EU-level between various stakeholders’ to minimise online infringement of IPR.
Haijer added: “EGBA is committed to promoting responsibility and driving standards in Europe’s online gambling sector and we encourage other companies to join us – and be part of the solution, not the problem – by adhering to responsibility initiatives such as the MoU.
“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.”