UK Advertising Regulator Bans Two Gambling Ads

August 3, 2022
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The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two gambling ads for suggesting they could provide players with financial security and for promoting socially irresponsible behaviour.

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two gambling ads for suggesting they could provide players with financial security and for promoting socially irresponsible behaviour.

Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) and Coral have also been told by the ASA to ensure their future adverts do not repeat the same mistakes.

Rank’s in-app ad for the mobile app casino game “Wolf Gold”, which was seen on May 5, 2022, was banned primarily because of the text that accompanied it.

“Everyone wants to solve theirs [sic] financial problems … Click the ‘DOWNLOAD’ button right now and start to earn … In fact, it’s all very easy to do with our application … pay off loans, buy a car and a nice house,” the ad stated before offering players a £400 welcome bonus.

Rank told the ASA the ad had been prepared by an affiliate organisation, WakeApp, which purchased in-app media on it behalf, and that it was not involved in the production or publication of the ad.

The operator said it would not have approved the ad if it had been aware of it.

Alongside the ASA ruling that the ad must not appear again, Rank was also told future ads, including those prepared by affiliates, must not suggest that gambling is a way to achieve financial security.

Separately, Coral’s TV ad which was banned appeared in March 2022, depicting an atmospheric horse race and included the phrase “Exciting, isn’t it? When your horse wins by a nose. But if that’s exciting, how about three furlongs ago? Look, look, any horse could win.”

The bookmaker argued in its response to the ASA complaints that its intention with the ad was to replicate the crowd excitement at popular horseracing events.

Coral also actively chose to not include any depiction of betting or the availability of its products, services, or promotional offers.

Clearcast, which pre-approves most British television advertising, also thought viewers would see the excitement in the ad was not solely caused by gambling.

However, the ASA ultimately viewed the ad as positioning “gambling as a large part of horseracing’s appeal”, which “in the context of the ad’s other elements, we considered that they implied a behaviour linked to problem gambling”.

Coral was ordered to not show the ad again and to ensure future ads are socially responsible and unlikely to have a disproportionate impact on problem gamblers and do not feature any implication of behaviours linked to problem gambling.

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