Will bookmakers’ advertising become more diverse?

Publication date: 18 Jan 2023

Representatives of the Russian sports federations are asking for changes to the Law “On Advertising”. The Russian Football Union, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and the Kontinental Hockey League have submitted relevant proposals to the State Duma in January 2023 and their discussion is scheduled for 24 January.

The leagues ask for loosening the law to make it easier for betting shops to operate. The possible relaxations “could substantially increase the leagues’, federations’ and clubs’ advertising revenues as well as create opportunities for media platforms to boost advertising revenue.”

In particular, it is planned to allow the use of human and animal images in advertising. According to BetBoom’s marketing director Peter Kipa, the use of human images will help attract athletes as ambassadors.  Ultimately, this will have a positive impact on the recognition of betting brands.

“Now the prohibition on the use of people, animals leads to the fact that all “legal” commercials of bookmakers are alike, while commercials on pirate sites are different”, – said the head of strategic direction of Mediasystem (Group4Media) Victoria Baranova.

It should be reminded that ideas to amend the Russian law “On Advertising” have appeared before. On 22 December 2022, chairman of the subcommittee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the Russian Federation on betting and sweepstakes Nikolai Oganezov suggested to use images of athletes in advertising and place it throughout the sports facilities. However, the Federal Antimonopoly Service objected: “Given the high danger of excessive fascination with such games, betting, including the likelihood of an increase in the number of emerging facts of gambling addiction (pathological gambling) among the population, the growing appeal of advertising such games, betting cannot be considered justified”.

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