World Lottery Association Weighs in on Responsible Sports Betting Marketing

The World Lottery Association is joining the global push to emphasize responsible marketing in the gambling ecosystem. It has published a guide it expects all of its members to follow in order to comply with regulatory guidelines.

Rebecca Hargrove
Rebecca Hargrove
Rebecca Hargrove, the president of the World Lottery Association. The organization has laid out new guidelines its members should follow when advertising. (Image: Chattanooga Free Times Press)

The World Lottery Association (WLA), which provides guidance for lottery and sports betting operators around the world, has published a new responsible marketing guide. It mostly centers on sports betting marketing and advertising to deal with competition from illegal betting operators.

There has been a proliferation of illegal and unauthorized betting providers operating online. As a result, lottery operators must be innovative and competitive in the face of the challenges that the situation represents.

The guide, Sports Betting Marketing Best Practices, offers an overview of how operators can market their products competitively and responsibly to cope with competition from illegal betting operators. At the same time, they have a duty to offer lottery and sports betting products that are safe and responsible, while fulfilling their mission of raising funds for good causes.

Marketing and advertising are the best ways to separate the legal platforms from illegal or unlicensed alternatives. Efforts to complete ban gambling advertising, as some have suggested, may do more harm than good.

WLA Wants Responsible Lottery Operators

In order to be responsible operators, WLA members will need to follow certain guidelines. They need to establish what the organization calls a “Minimum Viable Product.” This is possible through a solid understanding of the sports betting landscape.

A lottery or sports betting operator must ensure that responsible gaming measures lie at the heart of its sports betting offer, and the welfare of its players is insured,” explains the WLA.

The WLA points out in its 20-page document that “around 80% of sports betting revenue generally comes from about 10% of the players.” This will influence how operators develop their marketing plans. There are other criteria, as well, such as budget constraints, resource limitations, regulatory restraints and more.

Operators should avoid advertising that specifically targets minors or that presents lotteries and sports betting as a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. In addition, the WLA wants operators to avoid dropping hints that playing more increases the odds of winning and that gambling is a suitable alternative to working for a living.

One option the organization gives to improve overall responsibility is the use of self-service betting terminals (SSBT). The WLA admits that even these are susceptible to the inclusion of illegal activity. However, it emphasizes that the terminals can allow operators to be more competitive and expand their footprint. In doing so, they can help reduce the penetration of the illegal market.

Lottery Operators in Agreement

The Ibero-American Corporation of State Lotteries and Betting (Cibelae, for its Spanish acronym) is ready to follow the guidance. The Latin American organization echoes the launch of the new guide, according to a statement on its website.

Cibelae highlights that WLA member lotteries have an obligation. They must ensure that their lottery and sports betting products are channeled through regulated and supervised retail and digital networks. They need to work with regulators and authorities to focus on the removal of the illegal segment.

From a responsible gaming perspective, lotteries should not offer a payout rate over 90%. Such a high payout rate can attract more players, but it also comes with a higher risk of exacerbating gambling problems,” states the WLA.

Illegal gambling operators don’t care about their players’ welfare. They care only about their profits and market their brands aggressively. They even recruit players online with bonuses where they have no authorization.

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