The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK's regulator of advertising, has recently banned a Google search advertisement by Foxy Games. The ad, which was spotted on July 11, suggested that customers can achieve financial security by playing online casino games. This comes after the regulator published a report of its latest findings which found irregularities in age-restricted gambling advertising.
Foxy Games received a complaint, Betfair got a pass
Back in May, we’ve reported that ASA published TV ad exposure data report where the regulator emphasised the need to change the policy for online advertisements. Later, the regulator has banned an advertisement from Coral after the advert was classified to encourage repeated gambling. Now, ASA promised to tighten its marketing controls after it filed a complaint against Foxy Games for unlawful advertisement. The ad by Foxy Games stated “Earn Money Online - Foxy Games - Play Online”, suggesting that Foxy’s online casino is the path towards achieving financial security.
The complaint stated that the advertisement suggested to consumers that they can achieve financial independence through playing slots and bingo games. For that reason, ASA reminded Foxy Games to revise their ads and see if there’s another ad that could imply that gambling is a way towards financial security. Foxy Games has immediately removed the ad and responded that it was a result of human mistake. ASA thanked Foxy Games for acknowledging the mistake and taking immediate action.
Moreover, Flutter Entertainment’s Betfair Casino brand was also a subject of an ASA complaint in July, when the regulator examined an ad by Betfair. The ad featured a man rushing through an airport trying to catch his flight while finishing a gaming session at the same time. The ad used the slogan “when there’s a chance, there’s always a chance”, and ASA filed a complaint against it, stating that it shows gambling as an activity that takes priority over real life. However, after completing an investigation into the Betfair ad, ASA concluded that it was not in breach of its code.
Malta Gaming Authority to set new regulations in 2021
In the meantime, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) announced that it will introduce new regulations in 2021 that will require Malta-licensed operators to report any type of suspicious gaming activity. The new regulations should come into effect on January 1st 2021. They come as a result of MGA’s report on suspicious betting activities and consultation with operators.
The MGA’s Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism (SBRM) will become available for operators on November 1st 2020, but the mandatory reporting will be enforced in January 2021. The new requirements were approved by many regulatory authorities, including the International Betting Integrity Association (IIBA). An MGA spokesman stated that the regulator will conduct consultations and training with operators on the new processes.
According to the consultation report released in May, the Authority will require operators to describe the markets where suspicious gaming activity has occurred and the country where the player is located. Also, operators must inform MGA of the time at which bets were placed, provide it with account information, and any evidence to support the suspicious activity.