A potential minefield of jurisdictional complexities were on the agenda as the SBC Digital Summit navigated towards the midway point of the final day, as the Juicy Stakes sponsored Digital Marketing track swung into full flow.
“It’s just good business to be fully compliant” Marcos Oliveira, chief affiliate officer of Clever Advertising Group, asserts following a proclamation that “I don’t believe short-term solutions are solutions”.
With a multitude of topics up for discussions during the 40 minute “Brand Control – Working with Affiliates,” Oliveira was ably aided by Eitan Gorodetsky, director of acquisition of Betsson Group and Ivan Liashenko, chief marketing officer at Parimatch. David Clifton, director at Clifton Davies Consultancy, took the moderating reigns.
One key and timely topic of discussion kicked things off, with Clifton stressing “now more than ever with heightened problem gambling fears during the coronavirus pandemic great care must obviously be taken by gambling operators and their affiliates to ensure that gambling advertising is conducted in a socially responsible manner”.
This is turn segued into a series of recent developments detailed to tee up the panel, with the first pan-European advertising code unveiled by the EGBA and the Betting and Gaming Council announcing the suspension all gaming advertising on TV and radio for its members.
With Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Latvia and Portugal all identified as jurisdictions where similar actions have, or could potentially ensue, Gorodetsky, working across more than 20 online brands at Betsson, addressed specific countries targeted and, in terms of affiliates, where problems are run into: “We have a very wide network, we work in over 15 jurisdictions. I would say our main kind of operation is the Nordics, Europe, Southern Europe and LatAm and we also have a very successful operation in the Baltics.
“I think the situation is that we work very well with regulators, we are constantly in connection with regulators and our partners on the ground. The situation is tricky where regulation is moving faster.”
Acknowledging that the current climate brings a multitude of necessary updates, which can also bring technical difficulties, responsible gaming is identified as a constant area of focus for the firm.
“I don’t see a massive challenge currently in any of the jurisdictions,” it was added regarding compliance issues, “overall for the situation we have done very good”.
Primarily focused across Easterm Europe, with concerted efforts for expansion taking pace, Liashenko picks up the conversation by stressing that “we do not have here any strict rules like are applied in the UK and in other countries,” before speaking of necessary affiliate budget cuts that have taken place for the operator given the current climate.
Oliveira, whose Clever Advertising Group counts bet365, Sky Bet and PokerStars as clients, explains just where the firm it right and others get it wrong: “It’s not a question of doing right and doing wrong, it’s question of one side to know exactly the right regulation for each country and on the other side working very closely with your partners to be able to understand where the lines are and what you can do and what you can not.
“What we have been doing as a company for the last few years is to build a very strong compliance department to be able to anticipate and to be able to be compliant all the time.”
Adding: “Since the start of COVID-19 we have been working with our partners to restrict advertising as much as they want, to be able to give a responsible gaming approach to the advertisements.”
Oliveira continued by addressing the key to Clever Advertising Group success: “One thing I think we have done better than most of them is to anticipate the problems and not be able to try to change the rules.
“You cannot be aggressive, you have to be responsible, you have timelines, and if you do abide by the rules you will be able to work fine as an affiliate.
“And once you do that, and you gain the trust of your operator, your relationship can just improve.”
The SBC Digital Summit, currently in its final day, features seven conference tracks, a virtual exhibition and networking lounges, attracting 10,000 delegates from around the world.