ASA Rulings Show British Gambling Firms Are Becoming Socially Responsible

British gambling firms have come under scrutiny from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) again, but this time it’s not all bad.

Betfair Advert.

A recent Betfair advert has passed the ASA’s strict advertising standards, despite some viewer complaints. (Image: Vimeo)

Following a string of negative rulings against operators in 2018, two brands have had their promotional material validated. Looking into three separate cases this month, the ASA has ruled in favour of Betfair and PlayOjo.

ASA Sides with Betting Firms

Publishing their reports on September 12, the ASA disregarded the complaint that Betfair had used an actor who appeared to be under the age of 25. Featured in two adverts, the man can be seen walking in various settings with the company’s logo in sight.

According to the complainant, the person didn’t meet the ASA’s appearance criteria. In response, Paddy Power Betfair Plc said that the actor was dressed smartly to disassociate him with “youth culture” and, moreover, the actor was over 25.

The ASA agreed with this and ruled that no breach had occurred. Similarly, Skill on Net casino site PlayOjo received the benefit of the doubt for a YouTube advert featuring an alpaca.

After airing, a member of the public said the juxtaposition of a depressed alpaca with one that was happy because PlayOjo was a “fair casino” implied that gambling could cure depression. The operator argued that it wasn’t implying the alpaca was unhappy with life but with unfair bonus policies.

“[Skill on Net] said the reference to finding your Ojo only communicated the fact that the alpaca had discovered the brand Ojo,” reads the ASA’s report.

The complaint wasn’t upheld, meaning that two betting brands had escaped any form of punishment.

Gala Steps Out of Line

Despite ruling in favour of Betfair and PlayOjo, the ASA has taken action against Gala for implying that gambling involved skill rather than luck.

By showing images of a man winning free spins on Gala and then spinning plates, the ASA felt the operator was linking the two skills.

“In that context the claim therefore implicitly suggested that viewers could exercise a degree of skill or would be able to improve their opportunity to win at a game of chance,” concludes the ASA’s September 12 report.

Social responsibility has become the hot topic in UK gaming this year. In addition to action by the ASA, a number of firms have been subject to fines from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

However, despite the wave of negative press, the latest rulings show that operators are now starting to take more care over the promotional material they put out.

Share Now: