The Isle of Man’s Online Gambling (Advertising) Regulations 2007 (“the regulations”) provide the legislative framework alongside the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 (“OGRA”), for how Isle of Man licenced operators can promote their services.
The regulations came into effect on 31 August 2007, replacing the previous 2001 regulations, in ensuring advertising for online gambling services is accurate, informative, and adheres to responsible practices.
As Head of Regulatory Affairs for SolutionsHub, Nick Bowden is often asked about the intricacies of online gambling regulations, particularly in relation to advertising, and provides his insights below as general guidance.
The regulations require every licensed online gambling operator to maintain a website, however it should be noted that this does not apply to holders of a software supply licence or a token-based software supply licence, as prescribed within Section 7(2) of the Online Gambling (Software Supplier Licensing) Regulations 2010.
The homepage of the operator’s website must include information specific to the OGRA licence holder and the licence itself, such as the operator’s full name, registered office address, and the date from which the licence was granted.
It must also carry a statement that the operator is regulated in the Isle of Man and display the Island’s coat of arms.
Additional requirements for the homepage of the website as a minimum, include:
(a) Hyperlinks to the Isle of Man Government.
(b) Hyperlinks to approved organisations that supports problem gamblers, such as GamCare Isle of Man, Gambling Therapy or Gamblers Anonymous.
(c) A a summary of registration arrangements.
(d) A statement that individuals under the age of 18 are not permitted to register or participate in online gambling activities.
(e) A statement confirming that online gambling debts are enforceable by law in the Isle of Man.
Advertisement Content and Compliance
The regulations outline requirements for the advertisement of online gambling such as the inclusion of the URL or a hyperlink to the operator’s website.
Advertisements must not be indecent, offensive, false, deceptive, or misleading. and must be based on factual information.
Restrictions and Enforcement
In addition to the general requirements of gambling advertising, there are additional restrictions licence holders should be aware of to avoid potential enforcement action.
Advertisements relating to OGRA licence holders must not make claims about the legality of gambling in other jurisdictions, or target areas where online gambling is prohibited.
Adverts must not contain sexual content, nor be directed at anyone under the age of 18, whilst ensuring they do not breach copyright laws.
If an advertisement makes claims about potential payouts or wins, it must also provide information on the expected percentage returns for players over time, excluding any impact of skill.
The GSC has the authority to make changes to gambling-related advertising, or may stop the publishing of gambling advertising, if it does not comply with the regulations.
Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to fines of up to £5,000 for both the operator and the Designated Official responsible for the OGRA licence.
Regulation and Advice
A link to the full Online Gambling (Advertising) Regulations 2007 can be found here.
Operators must ensure they adhere to these regulations to avoid potential penalties and maintain their reputation as responsible gambling service providers.
For advice on specific advertisements, campaigns channels or content, please feel free to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.