The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed a “small increase” in children’s exposure to gambling advertisements in 2020.
In the organisation’s latest TV Ad Exposure Report, the ASA confirmed that people under the age of 16 saw an average of 2.8 gambling advertisements per week on television in 2020, an increase from an average of 2.5 in 2019.
The ASA also found that children’s exposure to scratch cards ads also increased from 2019, while exposure to bingo ads remained at a similar level and exposure to sports being ads remained at its lowest level since 2011.
Despite the increase in exposure to gambling ads, the ASA reported that children in 2020 saw less than half the ads they saw in 2019 as the number of ads viewed per weeks dropped from 219.5 to 103.7. Adults’ exposure to television adverts, meanwhile, increased by 2% from 343.5 ads per week to 349.6 between 2008 and 2020.
ASA Chief Executive Guy Parker said of the report: “The small increase in gambling ad exposure is something we will keep a close eye on – protecting children is at the heart of our regulation, and exposure must be appropriately limited.
“We will continue monitoring in this area, as well as online, to ensure that we appropriately limit children’s exposure to age-restricted ads wherever they appear.”
Kindred Group Announces Safer Gambling Partnership With EASG
Meanwhile, leading gambling operator the Kindred Group has announced a partnership with the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG), under which the firm will promote an app designed to help gamers spot early signs of gambling harm.
Developed by Zafty Intelligence, the Bettor Time app uses proprietary machine-learning software to identify any changes in user behaviour and acts as a tracker that monitors a person’s time on gambling products from all gambling operators.
The Bettor Time app learns each user’s normal behaviour and then monitors any changes in their activity, helping to identify signs of problem gambling. The app will then suggest tailored support services to help the user.
What’s more, the ESAG will control and distribute all aggregated user data from the app for academic research. The organisation is aiming to share access to the app across the entire gambling industry to ensure that operators improve their safer gambling responsibilities.
Maris Catania, the Head of Responsible Gambling and Research at the Kindred Group, said in a statement to CasinoBeats: “For us, promoting the Bettor App is a given and it is in line with our commitment of zero per cent revenue from harmful gambling by 2023.
“The technology behind this app with Zaft’s unique machine learning algorithms that take the recorded activity and learn each user’s normal behaviour is very interesting. This app can help users make better-informed decisions about their gambling. We are proud to promote this app and I recommend other operators to follow.”
Yggdrasil And Pragmatic Play Release New Slots
Also this week, leading developers Pragmatic Play and Yggdrasil have released brand new video slots.
Pragmatic Play’s brand new video slot, entitled Heart Of Rio, is based on Brazil’s huge Carnaval event and features all of the colour and excitement from the real-life festival.
The game uses a 5×3 layout with 25 paylines, and it has an RTP of 95.5%. Symbols in the slot are influenced by the event, and they include masks, dancers, drinks, and the traditional playing card values too.
Heart Of Rio is jam-packed with special features, including a Money Collect feature where disco orb symbols award cash prizes, an Extra Credit Collect feature that adds more symbols to the reels, and a Multiplier Collect feature that increases all money symbols on the screen.
In addition to the above, the game has a Free Spins mode, which is triggered by landing three bonus symbols. During the mode, money symbols and Collect features are all active, accumulating to a final value. At the end of the mode, players are given a final spin and if the Collect symbol lands, the game’s bonus pot is also paid out for big wins.
Yossi Barzely, the Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said in a statement: “Developing a diverse product portfolio is vital for any supplier as it looks to grow and we’re very pleased to add another thrilling slot game to our ever-growing offering.
“Heart Of Rio is a colourful adventure through one of the most iconic street parties in the world and we can’t wait for players to feel the beat and enjoy a fun gaming experience in this fantastic slot.”
Yggdrasil, meanwhile, has partnered with TrueLab to release its brand new video slot, Crazy Mix, which follows characters Chuck and Aneka in a gorgeous, tropical environment.
The Crazy Mix slot uses a 5×3 layout with 15 paylines, and it has an RTP of 96.35%. Chuck and Aneka act as wild symbols within the game, helping to make more winning combinations.
Other symbols in the Australian-themed casino game include koalas, kangaroos, turtles, lizards, and the traditional playing card letter and number symbols too.
Landing a Chuck symbol triggers a re-spin with a piece of fruit and a one-point increase in the game’s progressive multiplier. In addition to acting as a wild symbol, Chuck stands at the side of the reels and can throw his boomerang across the game to collect fruits to create a cocktail.
Collecting four fruits triggers the game’s Cocktail Free Spins mode, where a combination of fruits triggers the game’s bonus features and jackfruit award extra spins, helping to make even more wins.
Stuart McCarthy, the Head of Products and Programs at Yggdrasil, said of the game: “Crazy Mix is a slot filled with sparkling colours, unstoppable fun and collectable features to ensure every spin is unparalleled.
“With an array of free spins due to the contents of the cocktail, players enjoy a fantastic experience in an incredibly immersive world.”
Vasily Polynov, the Chief Business Development Officer at TrueLab, added: “We always aim to bring something truly unique to the table with our games and Crazy Mix is no different. Fruit, flora, fauna and fun combine to create an unforgettable adventure.”
The launch of Crazy Mix comes after Yggdrasil partnered with Dreamtech Gaming for their new futuristic sci-fi video slot, Lotsa Lines.