UKGC warns gambling operators about copyrighted content ads

UKGC warns gambling operators about copyrighted content ads

The UK Gambling Commission has today published a warning to gambling operators in the United Kingdom about their responsibility towards advertising on digital platforms that provide access to copyrighted content.

The warning comes following a rise in concerns about the number of operators who are engaging in online marketing activities that are in breach of the industry codes of practice, and is a reminder that operators have a duty of care regardless of whether marketing is undertaken directly or indirectly.

As a responsible gambling license holder, operators are reminded that they must ensure that no digital adverts are placed on sites that provide access to copyrighted content.

Additionally, operators must ensure that in the event of using a third party marketing company that they too are up to date with industry code and are not placing adverts on copyright infringing platforms.

Furthermore, online gambling operators must be prepared to act upon terms of contract termination with any third party media, advertisement or marketing firm that has been responsible for placing digital ads on such copyrighted content sites.

According to reports, unauthorised access to copyrighted content online is a crime and any advertisements that are placed on such outlets are associating gambling with crime.

A spokesperson for the UKGC stated the following about gambling ads that may appear on copyright infringing platforms:

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.

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.

The UK Gambling Commission is encouraging gambling operators to register with the Infringing Website List, an online portal that is owned by City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s and contains an up to date list of sites that have been flagged as infringing copyright.

Through the use of the list, operators are able to view whether or not their advertisements are being placed on illegal websites and cease activities in the event of doing so, either directly or indirectly through third party companies.

Regulare monitoring of the Infringing Website List (IWL) will enable operators to ensure their marketing materials are being used responsibly.

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