Gambling adverts have been the target for regulatory bodies for quite some time, the goal has always been to ensure that the adverts are as truthful and representative as possible, but there’s typically some grey area in which the ads can be targeted whilst avoiding these rules – with the commissions ready to hand out bigger and more substantial fines to those who work around these guidelines however, the crackdown on gambling ads looks set to heat up over the coming years.
Examples were made earlier in the year targeted towards one of the UKs biggest operators in 888 UK Ltd after a complaint made against one of the groups 777 offshoots – a player complaint felt that the advert in question was misleading with the free spins offer that was being made, it was later claimed that the advert in question had been published by a third-party without the knowledge of the casino, but ultimately the responsibility still falls on the brand rather than the third-party publishers with these complaints suggesting ads are targeted towards making players game more and gamble more quickly too.
This comes at a time where gambling ads in general are facing some scrutiny, celebrity ads have been the focus so far with suggestions that this is something will be banned in the future, the reasoning being that having public figures advertise the brands may be leading some players to wager more than they may otherwise would have by being a pseudo-sign of trust, or by seeming like an endorsement from a public figure. This is one of the many ways that the commission are looking to crack down on what may be deemed as non-transparent advertising practices, or by making the ads seem too appealing that it’s harder for some players to pass up on the chance to play.
The ”too cute” or “too enticing” approach will continue to come under fire, as well as where operators can choose to advertise – William Hill had come under fire previously for placing an ad on Tinder that likened gambling with dating and will continue to be a soft target to avoid, and given the big fines that are being handed out along with the threat of having gambling licenses suspended for breaching these terms, even operating in the grey area of advertising may seem like a stretch if it could mean a temporary halt to business or a big cash penalty for doing so.