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WLA Best Practice Marketing and Communications Guidelines

Approved by the WLA executive committee – January 2008

wla market com guid feb 08The WLA executive committee has now established and formally approved a marketing and communications guideline, which may be implemented as a globally recognized standard. Key elements from similar guidelines already in use by 11 major lotteries were instrumental in the development of this document. Prior to approval, the draft guidelines were also circulated to a number of WLA members. Marketing and communications specialist from these member lotteries formed a working group, which provided additional feedback. The resulting document is the culmination of their effort.


The Executive Committee of WLA identified in 2007 the need to provide Best Practice Guidelines for Lottery Marketing/Communications which members could use as a globally recognized standard. These guidelines were also seen as an important tool to add to overall Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Gambling Standards.

These standards were developed by distilling the key elements of guidelines already used by 12 lotteries in different parts if the world. The analysis of those guidelines demonstrated a high level of commonality amongst our members.

The draft guidelines before final approval by the Executive Committee were then circulated to a number of members who nominated senior staff from their marketing and communication departments who formed a working group to provide additional comment and feedback. The final document is the result of their work.

The guidelines now formally approved by the Executive Committee in January 2008 reflect in their opinion, a global standard to which all members of WLA could look for guidance in formulating their own approach to marketing and communication.

The standards can be used in two ways

  1. They could be adopted completely and used by the lottery as their own standard referring to the document as a World Lottery Association approved standard
  2. They could be used as a check list against which current existing standards used by the lottery could be reviewed


As these are new standards, the members of the working group welcome comment on how they can continuously be improved to best meet the diverse needs of the WLA membership.

Feedback on these guidelines should be directed to the WLA office in Basel. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The below is a summary of the key elements of themes which were covered by each of the codes used as reference material in developing the standards code using the development of these best practice standards:

  • Statement of General Principles
  • Tone of advertising/communication
  • Minors (under 16)
  • Game Information
  • Beneficiary information
  • Winner Publicity
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Internet
  • Third Parties

Recurring themes in the content of the various guidelines include:

  • Operating legally, decently, honestly, ethically, truthfully, openly
  • Complying with codes of conduct and self-regulatory codes
  • Having a sense of obligation to the consumer and society
  • Not misrepresenting and not being misleading
  • Being in good taste
  • Protecting the interests of children/adolescents and other vulnerable groups
    (eg socially disadvantaged). This includes for some not showing people or
    places in advertising which may appeal to children
  • Not suggesting that playing will make someone rich, or is a viable way
    to overcome personal or financial difficulties
  • Not exaggerate the likelihood of winning
  • Not promote the use of playing on credit/debt
  • Reference to a responsible gaming messages which should be included
    in promotional/advertising material – 'play responsibly'
  • Marketing partners required to act ethically, and themselves to
    exercise responsibility in the advertising activities
  • A guiding principle for marketing communications of 'social responsibility'
  • A few of the documents referred specifically to internet activities separately,
    with some specific issues around privacy and securing being included
  • Act responsibly and cautiously towards the environment

The Marketing/Communications Guideline template details a recommended framework. (It most closely matches the guidelines from the NASPL Advertising Standards, 1999).

Documents which were reviewed in developing the guidelines are listed below:

  • Loto Quebec Code of Advertising Standards
  • Australian Association of National Advertisers: AANA Advertiser Code of Ethics
  • Australian Lotteries Industry Code of Practice
  • Norsk Tipping: Ethical guidelines for Norsk Tipping
  • Norsk Tipping: Guidelines for ethics in marketing for Norsk Tipping AS
  • International Gaming & Wagering Business: June 2007, page 28
  • The Hong Kong Jockey Club: Guidelines for External Communication
  • Kentucky Lottery Corporation: Advertising guidelines for the KLC
  • Camelot: Advertising and Sales Promotion Code of Practice 2007
  • Veikkaus Oy: Ethical Guidelines for Marketing Communications in Veikkaus Oy
  • Singapore Pools: Marketing Communications Code of Conduct

To download the Marketing and Communications Guidelines click the link below.

Download the guidelines.

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