The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has sent out reminders to licensees to be socially responsible with their marketing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the regulator, the current situation is going to be very distressing to many players and that any marketing communication that mentions the disease—either directly or indirectly—would be against its regulations.
The MGA also said that commercial communications should not and must not persuade antisocial behavior or encourage that gaming can be a solution to personal, educational, professional, or social problems. Commercials should not characterize gaming as socially attractive or imply that solitary gaming is better than social gaming.
Furthermore, communications must not imply that gaming can be an alternative source of income or employment, solution to financial problems or as a form of financial investment.
The regulator also ordered operators to remind affiliates with regards to these rules to make sure they are marketing licensee’s products sensibly.
The MGA’s intervention is the latest example of a gambling supervisory body putting an end to those looking to exploit the pandemic for financial gains.
Just this month, Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) recently criticized unlicensed operators for broadcasting ads encouraging customers to use their illegal online services to gamble whilst gaming venues in the country were shut down due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The regulator later announced a €50,000 premium on any fine imposed on offshore operators that mentions the pandemic in its marketing.
On March 26, British Gambling Commission chair Neil McArthur delivered a message to online gambling operators, where he reiterated the importance of consumer protection as well as responsible marketing in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to McArthur, as the number of people who will be at home in the coming days continue to grow, licensees must ensure their standards of consumer protection remain as high as possible. The BGC chair noted that there has been a notable increase in activity around online poker, online slots, online casino gaming, and virtual sports.