The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a reminder to licensed operators about their responsibilities on digital advertising and the use of third-party affiliate marketers.
The Commission has highlighted that operators’ digital adverts are not to be featured on websites providing ‘unauthorised access to copyrighted content’, whilst also signposting three essential requirements.
To avoid content appearing on such sites, the UKGC stated that operators must ensure that third parties which they maintain any contact in relation to licensed activities, do not place digital advertisements on the same pages.
UKGC also detailed that licensed operators should also include termination options in contracts with third parties should they place digital advertisements for licensed activities on illegal sites.
“Over the years, we have seen a significant reduction in gambling adverts appearing on copyright-infringing websites, but a number of gambling adverts continue to appear,” a UKGC statement warned.
“This demonstrates the need for gambling operators to introduce additional controls or to review the monitoring methods they currently have in place to ensure this does not occur.
“To date, the Gambling Commission has not specified any particular measures that licensees should take to prevent this, however, we are clear about our expectation.”
Starkly warning its licencees, UKGC explained that advertising placed on unauthorised content websites contributes to the web page’s funding and is, therefore, ‘associating gambling with crime’.
Promoting ethical practice amongst operators, the UKGC encouraged operators to inform the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s (PIPCU) Infringing Website List (IWL).
The IWL serves as an online database containing an up-to-date list of copyright-infringing sites, with the aim of allowing advertisers, agencies and other intermediaries to voluntarily decide to cease advert placement on illegal websites.
Operators have been encouraged to register with and use the IWL as a guide for both themselves and affiliates, although firms must ‘proactively monitor the list on a regular basis’ to ensure responsible placement of advertising.