The advertising watchdog of the UK market has found that five gambling companies are illegally targeting children with their online ads, children as young as six-year-olds. The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), stated that the companies broke the strict rules by the ASA that prohibits them from targeting their ads at children.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Comments on Ads Targeting Children
The Chief Executive of the authority, Guy Parker, stated and assured that they would take effective and quick action that will ensure the protection of children from these irresponsible ads that are targeting them. During the 2-week probe by the ASA, the investigators used a total of seven online avatars that would mimic the online browsing habits of young children. The regulator unveiled that twenty-three gambling ads appeared more than 150 times across eleven websites that target children. The websites contained downloadable children stories, and coloring books as well as other online homework websites and sites that offer dressing-up styled games.
Mr. Parker also added that online advertisements abide by the same rules that apply anywhere else and that their new monitoring abilities help them deliver their commitment to having more impact on the online scene. Jeremy Wright, the Culture Secretary, praised the announcement of the ASA and said that it represents an excellent example of how technology can play an essential role in approaching online harms. He also congratulated the Advertising Standards Authority for its innovative approach that ensures the protection of children from gambling ads, and to provide the enforcement of the regulations.
What can the companies expect?
The five companies that the ASA is talking about arePlayOjo, Unibet, RedBet, Viking Video Slots, and Multilotto, with Viking Video Slots accounting for more than half the advertisements. In 2018, the UKGC stated that companies could expect harsh monetary penalties if they breach the advertisement regulations by the Advertising Standards Authority. The UKGC also said last year that it would start to require rougher identity as well as age checks for online gambling sites.
On the other hand, Unibet, which is the highest-profile company from the five companies, stated that it did not knowingly take revenue from children and underage gambling. As for the other four companies, they were quick to accept the fact that they broke the regulations, and the ASA requested them to take down their ads.
888 Casino Strikes Partnership with Microgaming in the UK
888 casino has reached an agreement on a partnership with Microgaming with the rollout of Microgaming gaming content on 888 Casino in the UK commencing soon. John Coleman, Microgaming’s CEO, stated that they are confident that this is going to be the beginning of a successful strategic relationship. He expects it to strengthen the stance of Microgaming across the European market.
On the other hand, the Senior VP and head of B2C at 888, Guy Cohen, stated that the deal is going to help the company elevate its position in the market by offering some of the most interactive and engaging casino content, alongside their existing gaming portfolio.