Tanzania Advertising Code Includes TV, Radio 'Blackout'

November 23, 2021
​​​​​​​The Gaming Board of Tanzania has proposed a new code of practice for gambling adverts which would see a TV and radio “blackout” from Monday to Friday between 6am and 9am.


The Gaming Board of Tanzania has proposed a new code of practice for gambling adverts which would see a TV and radio “blackout” from Monday to Friday between 6am and 9am.

Responsible gambling adverts would still be allowed to air during the proposed blackout, as would regular gambling adverts during live sports events.

The regulator writes in the Advertising Code of Practice that its main intention is to ensure gambling adverts are regulated, “with a view to preventing harm to the vulnerable groups including the problem gamblers, minors (underage)”.

The code will come into effect after it is approved by the regulator’s board of directors.

If approved, it will be reviewed from “time to time” as new trends emerge in the industry, the regulator said.

The code itself is dated from August, but has only been uploaded to the regulator’s website in the past few days.

All electronic and print media advertisements for any gambling activity would have to abide by the code, including online, TV, radio, billboards and newspapers.

Gambling adverts will have to include responsible gambling messaging, with TV and radio adverts including a helpline number to the regulator.

Billboards and other types of advertising signage will have to be at least 10 percent filled with a responsible gambling message, while signage that can move, scroll or change will have to be 25 percent occupied by responsible gambling messaging.

Specific activities banned in adverts include breaching the law, children participating, the consumption of alcohol, suggesting winning is a definite outcome or will improve someone's financial situation, offering any credit or making any false claims about prizes.

Adverts deemed to be for non-skill gaming activities cannot suggest a player’s skill can influence the outcome or exaggerate the extent to which skill can influence the outcome.

Gambling advertising referring to the value or nature of a prize or the frequency with which the prize might be won must include information to allow a reasonably informed person to understand the overall return to the player.

Alternatively, if the product does not have an overall return to the player, the odds of winning must be displayed.

Unsolicited calls, short message service (SMS) or other forms of communication promoting the purchase of tickets for participating in a draw, without the prior written approval of the board, will be banned.

Every gambling operator will have to adhere to the code “with a view to keeping in hold the sustainability of the existing business” and “promoting the gaming industry while embracing responsible gaming”.

The code specifically says it wants the industry to continue to make a “meaningful” contribution to the country’s economy.

The proposed introduction of the code comes only a few months after the country introduced specific regulations for online gambling for the first time.

The gambling industry has been growing quickly in Tanzania. Total revenue collection in 2018/19 by the gambling regulator, including licence fees and a levy, totalled TZS9.39bn (€3.4m), an increase of 33.7 percent compared with the year before.

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