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ASA reiterates ad guidelines ahead of Euro 2024 and warns against targeting minors

| By Kyle Goldsmith
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned operators against targeting minors with advertising ahead of the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament.
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Euro 2024 gets underway on 14 June, with sports betting activity likely to skyrocket during the tournament in Germany. Ahead of the event, the ASA has reiterated to operators their guidelines on what will be prohibited in their advertising.

The ASA highlighted the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code). The CAP Code stipulates that gambling operators must not feature anybody under the age of 25 in their advertising, including footballers. However, there is an exception for websites where bets can be placed directly.

The ASA also warned that ads mustn’t involve any player deemed to have a strong appeal to those under 18.

ASA reiterates other guidelines

The ASA has cautioned that operators shouldn’t mislead audiences by implying official endorsement from players and teams. The ASA did also state the overall impression will be taken into account.

Additionally, the ASA warned operators against the inclusion of stereotypes related to race, culture or national identity. Again, the ASA considered that context will be accounted for.

The ASA also outlined that operators shouldn’t include violent acts, using the example of Frenchman Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt on Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.

This summer a big opportunity for operators

Alongside Euro 2024, this summer’s sporting calendar also includes another quadrennial event with the Olympic Games in Paris, as well as annual events such as Wimbledon.

Pontus Lindwall, chief executive of Betsson, says the Euros will provide benefits in sports betting, but also other offerings.

Lindwall explained: “We expect a spike across all verticals because the whole activity goes up. We have more customers coming in and, even though it’s sports betting mainly, it spills over to other products.

“I think as well, you can say that our industry ends up in the spotlight during those tournaments. We get some great exposure in the press, which is nice.”

Euro 2024 a potential boost for stagnating UK sports betting market

The UK’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) was up by almost 10% in 2023, but that was thanks to large contributions from the online casino sector.

Some of the UK’s largest operators posted falling results in 2023. For instance, Bet365 announced that operating profit dropped by 88%.

888/William Hill, meanwhile, excluded like-for-like gross win comparisons with the 2018 World Cup when announcing its Christmas and World Cup earnings at the beginning of 2023. Operators will be hoping for improved results this time around.

The white paper, released in April last year, has thrown the market into uncertain waters, with the proposed introduction of affordability checks among the most controversial measures.

David Brown, who has been in the UK industry since 1976, holds a negative outlook for UK sports betting.

Brown told iGB: “I’ve been in the industry for 47 years and this is the most pessimistic I have ever been over the health of the UK sports betting market.”