The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Foxy Games gambling advert after it was deemed irresponsible by consumers.
The ad in question, which was paid for on Google, was seen back on July 11th, 2020, when users searched for the term “make money online”, and it displayed the words: “Earn Money Online – Foxy Games – Play Online”.
As reported by CasinoBeats, a complaint was issued shortly after the ad appeared, with the complainant suggesting that the ad was irresponsible for suggesting that customers could “achieve financial security” by playing at the advertised casino and playing its slots and bingo games.
Although Foxy Games had removed the ad and claimed it appeared as a result of human error, it acknowledged that the advertisement did not adhere to guidelines. The Advertising Standards Authority agreed with the complainant that the advertisement suggested consumers could earn a regular source of income by playing at the website.
The ASA said in a statement: “The CAP Code stated that advertisers must not suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security.
“We considered the claim ‘Earn Money Online’ suggested to consumers that the gambling system offered by the advertiser could be used to ‘earn’ money and therefore attain a regular source of income. We considered this had the effect of suggesting that gambling could be a way to achieve financial security.”
The ASA concluded that the gambling ad was irresponsible and informed Foxy Games that the ad could not appear again in the form it was complained of, and the gambling website was told that it could no longer suggest that gambling is a valid method of earning money and achieving financial security.
Also this week, a complaint was raised against a TV advertisement for Betfair Casino. The ad in question appeared on television back in July 2020, and it showed a man rushing to board a plane at an airport while another was sat relaxed, drinking coffee and look at his phone which displayed the Betfair mobile casino app.
The advertisement also featured a voiceover which said: “The average time between the final call and boarding closing is 4 minutes and 53 seconds… an unofficial fact officially brought to you by Betfair Casino. Because when there’s a chance, there’s always a chance.”
Betfair Casino’s ad ended with the man boarding his flight and then continuing to use the Betfair mobile app.
The complainant said that the ad portrayed gambling as taking priority in life as the ad showed someone gambling in a time-pressured situation after hearing the final boarding call for his flight.
In response, Betfair Casino claimed that it had taken great care in ensuring that the advertisement complied with the requirements of the BCAP Code. The company also stressed that the ad had been cleared by ClearCast, and that several segments of the ad suggested the man in the ad was only going to have a quick game.
What’s more, Betfair claimed that the man in the ad “appeared to be aware of his surroundings and boarding time” and that he did not appear to be travelling with other people such as friends or family.
Ad regulator ClearCast supported Betfair’s response, arguing that the ad did not suggest that gambling “was taking priority in the man’s life over other commitments nor did it portray gambling in a socially irresponsible way”. It also stressed that the man’s gambling behaviour did not hold up the flight from departing.
The Advertising Standards Authority cleared the complaint and deemed that no further action was necessary since the ad did not encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour or portray gambling as taking priority in life.
A statement from the ASA reads: “The ASA considered that although the man was momentarily occupied with gambling, he was not distracted because he heard the ‘final call’ and appeared to have made his flight on time in a calm and collected manner without needing to rush.
“By contrast, others around him were rushing to board their flights. We did not consider that the ad gave the impression that people should gamble in situations where they were genuinely at risk of being distracted from an important task.”
The firm added: “We therefore concluded that the ad did not portray, condone, or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or portray gambling as indispensable or as taking priority in life.”
The news comes after the ASA found gambling advertisements for four gambling operators on eight child-friendly websites during the second quarter of 2020. As reported by iGamingBusiness, around 70 different ads promoting the four operators were found during the ASA’s latest review.
According to iGamingBusiness, the gambling operators responsible for displaying the ads were shortly contacted to ensure that the ads were removed and to ensure that a similar breach of the ASA’s regulations is avoided in the future.
Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission announced a partnership with Facebook to issue out new guidance to users informing them of how they can limit the number of gambling-related advertisements and messages they view on the website.
The new guidance explains how users can adjust safety settings to change what they see, how they can hide items from appearing on their newsfeeds, and control which advertisers promote on their feed.
All of this comes as gambling firms such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) work to protect players across the country. The BGC last month unveiled a new code of conduct regarding the design of video slots.
As we reported several weeks ago, the new rules require slots to have a minimum game speed of 2.5 seconds per spin. It also bans the Turbo Play slot feature which allows users to speed up their gameplay and the multi-slot play feature which allows users to play multiple slots at the same time.
Another rule unveiled by the BGC includes the implementation of additional mandatory checks on players’ activity. The firm also announced that it would be exploring ways in which it could better label products for players to have a better understanding of what’s available.