The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has made a decision on ads placed by two separate gambling operators.
One complaint was directed towards GVC Holdings’ Foxy Games, with the ad in question since being removed.
Betfair Casino was also scrutinised in a separate case, but the ASA chose to dismiss that particular complaint.
Foxy Games ad taken down
The complaint against Foxy Games related to an ad which could have been perceived as suggesting that financial security could be achieved through gambling. The copy for this piece of marketing material said:
“Earn Money Online – Foxy Games – Play Online”.
This ad, seen on 11th July 2020, was displayed upon typing the term ‘Make Money Online’ in search engines. As such, complaints argued that the content could be seen as misleading and encouraging people to play bingo and slots games for making money instead of fun.
GVC Holdings have since acknowledged the mistake, attributing it to “human error”. Since then, the operator has “taken action to remove it [the ad]”.
The ASA had the following to say about this particular case.
“The CAP Code stated that advertisers must not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security.
“We considered the claim ‘Earn Money Online’ suggested to consumers that the gambling system offered by the advertiser could be used to ‘earn’ money and therefore attain a regular source of income. We considered this had the effect of suggesting that gambling could be a way to achieve financial security.
“We acknowledged that, on receipt of the complaint, the advertiser had taken action to address where their ads were served. However, we concluded that the ad suggested gambling was a way to achieve financial security and was therefore socially irresponsible.”
Complaint against Betfair ad dismissed by the ASA
Betfair Casino was on the receiving end of a complaint relating to an ad which appeared on TV during July. In this, one person was rushing for their plane while another was relaxed and looking at the Betfair Casino app on their mobile.
Betfair responded to these concerns, saying that “great care had been taken when creating the ad to ensure that it complied with the requirements of the BCAP Code and the ad had been approved by Clearcast”. Moreover, it was argued that the voiceover saying “4 minutes and 53 seconds” was a reference to the flight gate closing. Thus, the individual was only looking to have a quick game before travelling – as opposed to betting in a high-pressure situation.
The man playing on his phone in the ad also showed his phone to the flight attendant, which was planned to show that he was neither ashamed of playing nor trying to keep gambling a secret from others.
The ASA said the following in relation to their verdict on the Betfair ad.
“The ASA considered that although the man was momentarily occupied with gambling, he was not distracted because he heard the ‘final call’ and appeared to have made his flight on time in a calm and collected manner without needing to rush. By contrast, others around him were rushing to board their flights,” the ASA said in its assessment.
“We did not consider that the ad gave the impression that people should gamble in situations where they were genuinely at risk of being distracted from an important task. We, therefore, concluded that the ad did not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible, or portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life.”