Licensed operators from the online gaming industry in Bulgaria signed a joint memorandum outlining the basic principles and rules for socially responsible advertising. These rules are in addition to the current requirements set out in the Gambling Act and represent voluntary additional restrictions that organizers undertake to protect vulnerable groups among consumers.
The Memorandum has been signed by all online operators in the industry – Alphabet Gaming Ltd (alphawin.bg), Brobet Limited (efbet.com), ElektraWorks Europe Limited (bwin.com), Kaizen Gaming International Limited (betano. bg), Sesame Online Ltd (sesame.bg), Telematic Interactive Bulgaria EAD (palmsbet.com), Top Bet Ltd (8888.bg), Win Bet Online Ltd (winbet.bg), Hillside (New Media Malta) P.L.C. (bet365.com), Inbet Online Ltd (inbet.com), Betmarket Plc (betmarket.bg).
Under the Memorandum, online operators in the Republic of Bulgaria in 2023 will not engage persons under the age of 23 in their advertisements, will not communicate the amount of bonuses, cash, and/or prizes in radio and television advertisements, and will not broadcast advertising messages on radio and television in the time zone from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm, except within the broadcasts of sporting events and activities.
A special emphasis in the memorandum is that each broadcast advertisement will contain a call for responsible gaming and sensible betting.
The memorandum also aims to limit the impact of advertising on unlicensed online betting sites, which pose the greatest risk to vulnerable social groups. Illegal gambling is an extremely dangerous phenomenon for society, and the industry relies on the state, which has the necessary tools but is also ready to cooperate and partner in this aspect, to combat it. In this sense is the decision of the promoters who signed the memorandum to terminate their relations with their partners (affiliates) who promote illegal online gambling and to require their future partners not to promote unlicensed gambling either.
The Memorandum is seen as a multi-party instrument and all current and future online licensed operators will be invited to join. With the rules adopted by this memorandum, organizers have placed an emphasis on prevention among adolescents and have agreed not to place outdoor advertising near schools and, as before, not to place this type of advertising on children’s or youth sports teams.
Another significant decision in the rules is that promoters should avoid presenting gambling as a possible solution to social, educational, personal, financial or professional problems, as an alternative to employment or as a form of financial investment, or as a priority in life, for example over family, friends, professional or educational commitments.
A meeting between gambling operators and the National Self-Regulatory Council (NSC) is to be held in January to discuss the adopted rules as well as additional measures that could be included in the National Ethical Rules for Advertising and Commercial Communication, including gambling advertising.
It is the understanding of the industry that joint work on the subject with a view to maximizing social responsibility will continue in the future, including through discussion with the institutions.