New Restrictions Announced For UK Gambling Ads

February 8, 2018

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have introduced new standards for the UK gambling industry regarding the advertising of free bets and bonuses.

The tightening of the advertising restrictions will be enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and will look to restrict ads that “create an inappropriate sense of urgency”, “trivialise gambling”, and “prevent undue emphasis on money-motives for gambling.”

The CAP have also clarified that terms and conditions must be displayed in a prominent place on every advert concerning free bets and bonus offers.

“We won’t tolerate gambling ads that exploit people’s vulnerabilities or play fast and loose with eye-catching free bet and bonus offers,” said Shahriar Coupal, director of the Committees of Advertising Practice.

“Our new guidance takes account of the best available evidence to strengthen the protections already in place, ensuring that gambling is presented responsibly, minimising the potential for harm.”

The move by the CAP comes in conjecture with the UK Gambling Commission penalising Foxy Bingo for “repeatedly misleading customers” regarding their offers of free bonuses.

Foxy bingo logo

The promotion ran by GVC, the gambling firm behind Foxy Bingo, stated that gamblers would get a free bet worth up to £30 when they deposited money into their account, though customers complained they were unable to withdraw their funds until they had played through their initial deposit four times.

“The new advertising standards set clear expectations for the gambling industry. Gambling firms must not advertise in a way that could encourage problem gambling behaviour. Consumers must be able to make informed choices about how and when they gamble and not feel pressured into making decisions that could cause them harm,” said the UK Gambling Commission Programme Director Ian Angus.

“We expect gambling businesses to review the new guidance now and adjust any marketing and advertising accordingly. We support any enforcement activity by the ASA against operators who do not comply, and will not hesitate to take our own action against those who do not take their responsibilities seriously.”

The new standards enforced by the CAP will come into effect from 2nd April 2018.

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