It's Do or Die for Gambling Marketing During the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Published November 3, 2022 by Brett C

It's Do or Die for Gambling Marketing During the 2022 FIFA World Cup

It's game time, with the 2022 FIFA World Cup around the corner. That means action-packed entertainment across the sports betting and online gaming industry. So it's interesting to see what happens with gambling-related marketing during this period.

l'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the French gambling regulator, recently passed a series of rules and regulations vis-a-vis how casinos and bookmakers can offer bonuses to players. Based on the new set of rules, operators are required to maintain transparency throughout. This means that crystal-clear bonus terms and conditions are required at all times. More importantly, French regulations stress the need for responsible gaming conduct. This is evident with rules preventing the promotion of bonuses to problem gamblers. Unfortunately, while good-intentioned, these rules are nebulous and unlikely to be implemented effectively.

Without a carrot-and-stick approach by l'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) and industry watchdogs, these non-binding rules are unlikely to be effectively monitored. Regardless, the timing resonates with industry specialists in France and beyond. Now that the World Cup is around the corner, the French regulator has laid the groundwork for the proverbial games to follow. Two years ago, with the Euro 2020, there was a significant backlash against French advertising. This resulted in the implementation of new rules and regulations for advertisements.

The Netherlands Weighs in with Important Legislation on Gambling Marketing

By the end of this World Cup, the Netherlands will have implemented an outright ban on untargeted gambling commercials. The shotgun-style approach to advertising is over. This means that gaming operators have a small window to target as many players as possible. After that, the opportunity diminishes. Undoubtedly, the anti-advertising sentiment against online casinos has a loud and growing chorus of voices. It's only a matter of time before these campaigns reach a fever pitch.

Further to the east, Sweden now has a new government in charge. This time around, they have a Laissez-faire approach to gambling. However, they are more receptive to reforming the rules and regulations around online casino bonuses.

If Sweden is anything to go by, a reprieve may be on the cards, but a backlash induced by the FIFA World Cup 2022 could upend all of that. In the United Kingdom, a critical piece of legislation – The Gambling Act – is currently being reviewed. After the gambling minister resigned, it's unknown when The Swedish government will publish the White Paper. It could be before or after the World Cup. Either way, the ramifications of the new legislation will be far-reaching.

Unique Perspectives on Marketing During The World Cup

There is a bifurcated approach towards marketing during the World Cup. On the one hand, industry participants should mind their Ps and Qs during this amazing event. Failure to do so could cause irreparable harm to the industry. On the other hand, opponents of the industry will be keeping a watchful eye on mistakes to generate controversy. Either way, it's best to continue along the same path. These opposite positions – anti-and pro-industry groups - provide legislators with tremendous insights. No doubt, there is opposition to the gambling sector. The industry should make it as difficult as possible for legislators to find ammunition to use against them. No matter what marketers do, there will be a backlash.

The hope from the pro-gambling lobby is that actions will be conducted responsibly during the World Cup 2022. Responsible marketing will likely be met with muted protests, but in-your-face marketing will be met with substantial opposition. Provided industry captains maintain their calm and composure, it is possible that the case can be made that you're damned if you do, and you are damned if you don't. Either way, the industry must behave responsibly and stick to the rulebook. As far as analogies go, there's no point in gifting a penalty without a goalkeeper to the opposition. Responsible gameplay with a solid defensive and offensive framework is bound to make online gaming marketing more effective during and after the 2022 World Cup.

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