Betfred Avoids Another Regulatory Bashing After ASA Clears Bingo Ad

British betting operator Betfred is in the clear after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) failed to uphold a lone grievance.

Betfred bingo advert cleared

Betfred has escaped the ASA’s wrath following a complaint over a recent bingo ad. (Image: YouTube/Betfred)

Publishing its report on April 17, the advertising watchdog said that a recent commercial didn’t contravene its guidelines.

Fuelling the latest investigation into a UK betting operator was a single viewer complaint. As per the ASA summary, the complainant believed a January advert “normalised gambling.”

ASA Backs Betfred Bingo Ad

Responding, Betfred stated that the TV ad showed people in everyday situations enjoying bingo. Crucially, however, they weren’t being encouraged to play excessively or prioritise the game over other things in life (see video above).

Ruling on the case, the ASA disagreed that the content normalised gambling.

“The characters taking a bath and exercising were shown playing bingo in conjunction with doing those tasks, rather than instead of them. Gambling was therefore not portrayed as taking priority over those tasks or as indispensable,” reads the April 17 report.

Although Betfred may consider it a minor victory, the ASA ruling is proof that UK gaming operators are becoming more socially responsible.

In 2018, the watchdog took a number of companies to task over their adverts. Prompted, in part, by a surge of content during the World Cup, the ASA’s action has forced UKGC licensees to take more care over their marketing material.

In practice the enforcement of tougher advertising standards is part of a wider effort to improve UK gaming. Although the UKGC has long been considered a top-tier regulator, anti-gambling advocates have forced it to raise the bar.

UK Gaming Standards Continue to Improve

Topping the list of recent changes are new betting limits for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Following a multi-year campaign, during which protestors likened the machines to crack cocaine, the government finally took action.

Concluding that limits needed to be cut, Prime Minster Theresa May signed off on a legislative change in 2018.

The news rules came into effect on April 1, 2019, which means bookmakers can now accept a maximum of £2 per round.

Almost immediately after the stakes were changed, Betfred found itself in the firing line. Along with Paddy Power, the UK gaming company launched a roulette-style game known as Virtual Cycling.

Despite arguing that a live betting element made it different from previous FOBT options, it was ultimately branded a workaround.

After the UKGC flexed its regulatory muscle, both operators removed the games without question. Between this and the recent validation of its advertising content, it’s clear Betfred and its peers are moving in the right direction, albeit with a few bumps along the way.

Share Now: