Online gambling operators sanctioned by UK advertising standards authority

News on 30 May 2018

Online gambling operators Progress Play, which owns, and TGP Europe, which runs have been told by the UK Advertising Standards Authority to drop advertisements which feature graphics and game themes likely to appeal to minors.

It’s the latest in a series of well publicised official warnings to online gambling companies that this sort of promotional activity will not be tolerated.

The ASA became involved following complaints lodged by the anti-gambling activist organisation Campaign of Fairer Gambling, fresh from its success in helping to secure a reduction in the maximum stakes available on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in high street bookie shops, and is perhaps an indication that pressure is now being applied to the online gambling sector.

The marketing publication Drum notes that recent data from Nielsen indicates that online casino houses have collectively invested GBP 1.4 billion on marketing since 2012; part of a 97 percent increase in UK ad spend over the past five years.

The bans also come amid MPs calls to treat ads for gambling companies in the same way creative from the tobacco industry is treated (see previous reports).

Games from – with titles like Fairytale Legends Red Riding Hood, Fairytale Legends Hansel and Gretel and Fairies Forest’ – depicted animated folklore characters and settings, and following contact by the ASA the company made the games unavailable for players who weren’t members, and modified the graphics to exclude any depictions of fairies and other characters like wolves and pixies.

Similarly, incurred a similar ban for promoting games that could appeal to children, including featuring a cartoon white polar bear titled Santa Paws.

The ads must not be shown again in their current form. The ASA also warned M88 to stop promoting the games on unrestricted portions of its website.

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