RGC, Flutter partner for responsible advertising research

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), funded by Flutter Entertainment, will conduct new research on marketing and advertising in the online gambling industry, assessing the state of play in key jurisdictions including the Ontario market.

The RGC notes that the opening of the regulated Ontario market on April 4 has resulted in “a significant influx” of iGaming-related marketing and advertising across all media channels.

The goal of the initiative is to conduct what global gaming giant Flutter — the owner of the largest U.S. sportsbook FanDuel — describes as “first-of-its-kind” baseline research that will help both regulators and operators develop and refine responsible gaming policies and practices.

Researchers at RGC’s Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices (CABP) will explore the current landscape of marketing and advertising on a global scale and provide policy recommendations to identify opportunities “for quality improvement” in key jurisdictions such as Ontario and New Jersey. The completion date for this comprehensive research is set for early 2024.

“Through this research, we not only have the ability to affect necessary changes to our marketing and advertising standards here in Ontario, but also the ability to make great impacts to the harm minimization efforts of jurisdictions all around the world,” said Shelley White, CEO of RGC. “This comprehensive study truly highlights the culture shift that the industry is currently undergoing, and by leveraging our research partners, we can make greater impacts in protecting players and communities.”

The RGC stresses that with the rise of sports betting and iGaming in Ontario and other jurisdictions, a need has emerged to better understand the impacts that marketing and advertising play in this new gambling landscape, particularly in legal, quasi-legal and grey market environments.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued a set of advertising stipulations as part of its Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming at the onset of the Ontario regulatory launch, including a prohibition on third-party or public advertising of sign-up offers and inducements and bonuses.

Since then, it has sanctioned several operators in the Ontario market for alleged breaches of these regulations, including PointsBet, BetMGM, and DraftKings.

George Sweny, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Flutter International, suggested there is a need “to better understand the impacts of increased marketing and advertising on all stakeholders”.

“This foundational research will help us all make necessary strides towards bridging the gap between best and better practices in an area of significant importance,” he added.

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