Ladbrokes Warned by ASA for Underage Gambling Ad

Ladbrokes warned over gambling ad.

Ladbrokes forced to pull advert featuring Manchester United’s Memphis Depay because it breached ASA laws. (Image: standard.co.uk)

Sports betting, casino and poker operator Ladbrokes has been warned by the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after complaints regarding one of its recent promotional emails.

Keen to pick up on the next Premiership stars and use their image to generate some interest in their latest sports betting offers, Ladbrokes decided to feature Manchester United midfielder Memphis Depay in an email ad campaign.

Old but Not Old Enough

Despite being a rising star and someone capable of producing a number of highlight reel moves on the football pitch, Ladbrokes fell afoul of the ASA’s advertising laws because of his age.

At the tender age of 21, Depay is too young to be featured in an advert that promotes gambling. According to the ASA’s rules, gambling companies may only feature persons aged 25 and older in any advert or promotional literature that encourages people to ante-up.

After receiving a complaint from a member of the public that Depay was prominently featured in the ad, the ASA was forced to take action and reprimand Ladbrokes.

“The ad featured the sole image of Memphis Depay who was under the age of 25 at the time the ad was seen, and we therefore considered that he played a significant role in the marketing communication,” read a statement from the ASA.

Ladbrokes has since pulled the ad and will now be monitored closely by the ASA.

Ladbrokes Suffers Same Fate as PokerStars

Although this is the latest case of censorship by the ASA, it’s certainly not an isolated incident. In fact, PokerStars was famously forced to remove Neymar Jr from its UK ad campaigns earlier this year.

The 23-year-old Brazilian may be one of the most famous footballers in the world; however, when PokerStars tried to use him as part of a “Dream Team” promotion, it caught the attention of the ASA.

Although the adverts for the special promotion were innocuous enough, the ASA stepped in to enforce its rules which meant PokerStars had to remove Neymar Jr from the Dream Team promotion and replace him with Daniel Negreanu.

In Other News…

In other gambling news, three hackers charged with compromising the virtual lives of more than 100 million people used illegal online gambling sites as part of their global scheme.

Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein, and Joshua Samuel Aaron have been named by federal prosecutors in the US as the men responsible for a 2014 hacking scandal that saw major companies, such as JP Morgan, as well as stock markets compromised.

Allegedly earning more than £100 million from their exploits, the three cyber criminals were also involved in running illegal gambling sites.

Although the latest reports don’t name the sites created by the hackers, it’s believed the men used the shell companies to process money and collect the details of players, including those from the UK.

With the men now formally charged, a sentence will be handed down by a federal judge in the coming weeks.

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