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Study finds gambling ads dominate piracy...

Study finds gambling ads dominate piracy websites

Published on April 24, 2019

According to the findings of a study conducted by White Bullet, a cybersecurity company which monitors IP infringement in real time, the gambling sector is dominating advertising on piracy websites.  The study revealed that as much as 43 percent of all ads found on such websites came from gambling brands in the first quarter of 2019.

Most of the ads appeared on websites which stream live-pay TV soccer games without having the required permission from the concerned authorities such as sports leagues and broadcasters.

While the EPL has been chasing after such illegal streaming websites, they still manage to resurface, even only temporarily on days when there is an important game. Until recently, these piracy sites were openly advertised on the “soccer streams” thread on Reddit, until the thread was shut down a few months ago after threats of legal repercussions. However, as mentioned before, they still manage to make a comeback on big game days.

GVC and Betclic Everest among top offenders

White Bullet called out a few well-known names in the gambling industry. Among these include GVC Holdings’ Bwin, as well as Bet-at-home Betclic Everest Group, who are both members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). This makes the revelation highly embarrassing for the two holding groups.

In 2018, EGBA signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Commission, where both parties promised to work on minimizing placement of ads on websites as well as mobile applications, which could be considered an infringement of copyright or which would encourage the dissemination of counterfeit goods.

The study also found that the worst offender was 1Xbet, a Russian betting website, whose ads on illegal streaming sites generated more than 35 million impressions only within the last six months.

Third parties in online advertising also at fault

Today, many businesses hand over their online advertising to third parties, who then can be held responsible for placing ads on such illegal streaming websites. This only indicates that companies should be more vigilant about where their advertisements end up. Otherwise, it can be extremely damaging for their brand, as seen in the case of GVC and Betclic Everest.

White Bullet added that since there are millions of digital advertising transactions that happen every single day, it can be challenging to find out who to hold responsible for the placement of such ads on piracy websites.