ASA’s responsible ads warning to bingo operators

  • Updated
  • By Nadia Fadeeva
ASA bingo advertising warning
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Following a recent statement aimed at bingo operators, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) brought attention to the necessity of responsible advertising and these following the same regulations as any other promotional material in the gambling industry.

Bingo ads fall under the gambling section of the advertising codes and regulations, where it is indicated that these “should not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm”.

Some well-known bingo operators have already been called out on their irresponsible advertising campaigns, mainly for their appearance to promote gambling as an encouraging escape route out of financial difficulties.

Gala Bingo affiliate served to be an unlucky example of this after stating that a player who had won a Gala jackpot was able to get out of debt and resolve their challenging situation through gambling behaviour.

The regulations clearly outline the importance to avoid targeting any gambling-related advertisements towards anyone under the legal age of 18, once again providing a real-life example of a bingo product that negligently broke these rules – A game on Betfair featuring characters from the Looney Tunes. However, shortly after, the ASA had decreed that the promotional material for a The Goonies slot game was appropriate as it was not directly aimed at children.

However, the ASA reiterated that any advertisements must be genuine and transparent with the inclusion of wagering requirements, detailed terms & conditions, as well as the intent of full disclosure.

Additionally, the advert must not demonstrate gambling as an escapism or an acceptable solution to any financial hardships that players might be going through. This kind of advertising technique has been used in the past by The National Lottery, which seems to get away with more than other operators.

There has been some proven improvement, with a recent ASA report highlighting that under-18s exposure to gambling ads is on decline since 2013.