It is the operators’ responsibility to ensure no underage gambling occurs on their sites, along with influencers putting disclaimers and cautionary messages on their own content, according to Marija Hammon, Head of Marketing at Relax Gaming.

Speaking as part of the final article in our three-part series looking into influencers in the industry, Hammon again joins Kornilov, Walker and Kaplya, in discussing how the industry can remain responsible when it comes to influencers and their younger audience. 

SBC: With influencers generally targeting a younger audience, how can we ensure responsibility when it comes to using this form of marketing within the gambling industry?

Alex Kornilov, CEO at Betegy: There are responsibilities on three sides. The first is the regulator, there needs to be a clear set of rules in place with a uniform approach that makes everything level and ensures protection of stakeholders throughout the process. Take Sweden as an example of how not to do that, effectively you had the majority of rules created on the hoof and then enforced retrospectively which really destroyed trust. 

The second is the operator, they need to ensure they are not targeting incorrect (or indeed underage) demographics and the responsibility is to target the right channels ethically. 

Lastly, the social media provider – TikTok is a good example of this, with its usage increasing dramatically, it will no doubt become a popular channel to market on. However, you need to ensure that such a channel can provide these safeguards before we even start, effectively a third responsible party in the process. 

It should not be a conflict of interest between the three, generating an opportunity to have a uniform approach that is in line with values and integrities of each. Take Facebook and MGM, they work together with regulators to ensure you can create a project that works for everyone. 

We need to remember betting is all about entertaining and establishing trust – get that right with your influencer campaign, and you’re onto a winner. 

Marija Hammon, Head of Marketing at Relax Gaming: There has been (understandable) media controversy on this topic, as the level of control is limited. Ultimately, influencers can put disclaimers and cautionary messages on their own content, along with the platforms they feature on having their own age-gating in place to try to ensure adult only audiences. 

It is then the operators’ responsibility to ensure no underage gambling occurs on their sites, especially if viewers watching influencer content actually end up playing themselves. 

As the industry continues to grow, with technology evolving along with it, the responsibility lies with everyone operating within it to try to ensure ethical practices. This includes immediately opting out of collaborations if anything otherwise is ever suspected. 

Brandon Walker, Business Development at Amelco: It’s all about getting regulation right and ensuring the operators abide by the rules and frameworks that come with it. South Africa’s regulators have come in leaps and bounds over the last decade to provide an environment that is fair for all. 

It’s now up to the operators in the market to ensure that responsible gaming is monitored, adhered to, and considered a core part of the brand’s values. 

Yanina Kaplya, Head of Marketing at BetGames: All forms of advertising need to be carried out responsibly and ethically. At BetGames we believe that it is essential to meet the advertising standards and requirements set in our certified markets, and continuously follow the advice of our B2C partners that communicate with players directly. 

In most cases, influencers know the audience details through social media analytics tools, which works perfectly with brands targeting specific geo, genders, age and interests. When running our campaign in South Africa we didn’t aim to advertise betting or gambling outright. 

Instead we focused on a responsible gambling message that helped to not only support the credibility of our brand in the market but also showcased the product’s new features.