Amid a fresh warning from Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen against excessive and harmful gambling advertising, trade group Spelbranschens Riksorganisation (SPER) has sent out an assurance that industry-wide marketing guidelines adopted earlier this year are beginning to spur encouraging changes.
SPER launched an evaluation to assess the impact of this marketing code, first hatched in March 2019, on the volume and content of gambling-related commercials and promotions in Sweden. Drawn up in partnership with leading iGaming group Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), the guidelines have largely succeeded in inspiring more responsible advertising in the gambling market, according to SPER.
Spelinspektionen recently renewed rhetoric for an extensive clamp down on unbridled gambling advertising, fearing their prevalence may stoke further problem betting in the country.
Jointly championed by SPER and BOS, the adopted marketing guidelines is a nine-point code of conduct meant to steer gaming operators and marketers to make more responsible decisions when it comes to gambling promotion.
It includes provisions that require all marketing materials to be kept truthful and accurate, as well as prods operators to limit the airtime of their commercials, and not to target impressionable minors. The framework also holds gambling companies accountable for any irresponsible tactics employed by third-party promoting partners, particularly highlighting that SMS and e-mail disseminated marketing materials can only be forward after securing a consumer’s consent.
SPER reassures that with the new guidelines in place, operators have taken steps to reevaluate the quantity and tone of their marketing materials, with the association’s members investing in training programs and info-sharing initiatives to instill the code of conduct into their marketers.
SPER chief executive Jenny Nilzon said their group has seen a clear improvement in gaming-related advertising in both volume and content. The executive continued that they are constantly working on fostering responsible common practices and worthwhile changes, adapting to the always changing gambling market.
Marketing Code Alone Not Enough To Moderate Operators
It remains to be seen if the positive impact of these marketing guidelines will be enough to quell calls for harsher gaming advertising restrictions in Sweden.
Hot on the heels of the marketing code release in March, Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi applauded some good provisions of the guidelines, but said it wasn’t enough to fully moderate the aggressive advertising habits of operators in Sweden.
Earlier this year, the Gaming Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen) was tasked by Shekarabi to study potential actions necessary to clamp down on problematic gambling marketing. The body is set to publish its final report in October 2020, with speculations that the agency will recommend a blanket ban on gambling advertising, fueling discomfort in licensed operators.