ASA Issues Warning Over Bingo Advertising
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has officially put out a warning to operators. After an advertisement for Bingo seemed to suggest that lottery games could solve debt problems, the watchdog group wasted no time in pouncing. According to the ASA the advert was against standards, and reminded all operators that Bingo was subject to the same rules as other casino games.
The rules state, clearly, that any advertisement for casino products may not portray, condone or encourage gambling that may result in emotional, financial or social harm. These rules, according to the watchdog group, were recently being ignored by a number of operators. As to whether the rules were broken intentionally is up for debate, with offending companies saying it had not been their explicit intention.
The Offending Material
The first example cited by the ASA, resulting in the warning, came from Gala Bingo. After a jackpot was won, the operator mentioned that the winner would be using the cash to get out of debt. These specific words, according to an ASA spokesperson, had crossed a line. It was explained that the terminology ‘using the cash to get out of debt’ implied that those facing financial troubles could use games of chance as a reasonable solution.
Another problematic example pointed out by the watchdog group came from Betfair. Betfair offered a Bingo product themed with Looney Tunes characters, seeming to suggest that the target demographic was those under the age of 18.
On the other hand, a slot based around the popular children’s film Goonies was given a pass, with a spokesperson saying that, in this case, the appeal was not unquestionably aimed at those under the age of 18.
Although the ASA did not beat around the bush with its warnings, the organisation did share some positive information. The spokesperson explained that, with advertising regulations in place, the exposure of gambling products to children was on the decline. The spokesperson elaborated that, since 2013, it was far less likely for a minor to see, or hear, any advertising specifically related to games of chance.
It was also mentioned that another law, which declares that gambling ads must be fair, honest, and make clear wagering requirements, was generally being followed by all operators. Hence, despite the round of warnings, it seems as if the regulations are keeping the casino industry in check.