32Red sanctioned for a problematic ad

Viktor Vangelov | Published 26 Sep 2019, 8:43 a.m.

There’s been a lot of talk of restrictions, fines and new gambling regulations in the UK lately. In fact, most operators have become quite cautious as some of them have been handed hefty fines for breaching standards set by the UK Gambling Commission. Gambling in the UK is a major industry, a lot of stakeholders are involved, and actions can have great consequences.

Operators are concerned that certain decisions and initiatives may have a significant impact on their performance and revenue. The FOBTs max betting limit, i.e. the decrease from £100 to £2 caused some operators to lay off staff and even close down some of their venues.

The decision to decrease the stake limit to £2 came into force at the beginning of April, and in July, operators blamed the reform for the closure of betting shops. However, it should be noted that the number of shops that Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred closed was a lower than the initial estimate, so it seems that operators weren’t hit as severely as first thought.

The ad featured Jack and the Beanstalk slot which is based on a fairytale

We have also reported on some of the fines that some of the operators were required to pay. Fining companies is one handy way for the Commission to gather funds that can be invested in programmes and initiatives, but on many occasions, operators have only been warned. Authorities, or to be more specific, the Advertising Standards Authority has paid close attention to marketing communications, particularly when it comes to protection of children and their exposure to gambling advertising.

This time it was 32Red that were on the receiving end of a sanction. The brand advertised its offer on Google using banners and other promo materials featuring Jack and the Beanstalk slot, a game that’s based on the children’s story of the same name.

The ad was particularly problematic as it appeared to people who searched the phrase ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and the reasoning of the ASA was that many of those who googled the term were children, or adults who were accompanied by children and were searching on their behalf.

The operator, when placing the ad, didn’t ensure that it will only appear to those over 18 and thus didn’t provide a sufficient degree of protection of children.

The ruling of the ASA stated that the ad must not appear in its current form and that the company has to ensure that gambling ads in the future will not have a particular appeal to children and persons under the age of 18 in general.

The ad promoted 150% bonus up to £150

32Red accepted the ruling, they removed the ad and they made further checks to ensure that no other games of high risk have been included in their promotional materials and marketing communications.

The Jack and the Beanstalk campaign in question was consisted of two similar Google ads, both of which were used to promote the same bonus offer 150% up to £150, which is quite a significant amount.

Additional note made by the ASA was that all other results that appeared on the first page on Google were refereeing to the actual tale, whereas 32Red’s ad was the only result that actually pointed to the new game.

Posted in:

Editors Choice

Other Top Stories

Feb 25, 2020
Sports Betting In Montana Could Start Next Month

Montana could probably launch sports betting as early as next month. It will be the first state to operate sports betting through lottery stores.

Feb 24, 2020
New online gambling legislation in Argentina and Spain

We are bringing you news regarding the lastest gambling legislation that has been passed in Spain and Argentina.

Feb 20, 2020
Fortnite Boss Calls For The End Of The Loot Boxes

Tim Sweeny, the co-founder of Epic Games, said that loot boxes can ‘cause harm’ so that they should be banned from the games.

Feb 17, 2020
Gambling companies’ market value drops

The UK Gambling Commission chief stated that they intend to introduce a new online wagering limit, similar to the limit that's implemented on FOBTs wagering and as a result the prices of multiple UK gambling companies suffered a decline.

Feb 13, 2020
UKGC Discusses Digital Challenge To Make Gambling Safer

The UK Gambling Commission hosted an event on discussing digital challenges to make gambling safer.

Feb 10, 2020
ICE London – 2020 will be an eventful year

The London ICE is one of the most renowned gambling events in the world, with thousands of participants every year. The 2020 event took place last week and there were some quite interesting discussion points.