Thursday, 19 November 2020

ASA Bans Thebettingman Gambling Ad Featuring Geordie Shore TV Star


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a gambling advertisement from Thebettingman over several complaints.

As reported by Gambling Insider, the advertisement first appeared as an Instagram Story on June 2, 2020, by Geordie Shore reality television star Sam Gowland. It featured the following caption: “I told use Thursday night if u wanted to make money the betting man is the way forward for £25! 12 wins out of 14 this weekend and another winner this morning.”

Gowland also stated in the post that using Thebettingman was the “best second source of income I’ve ever had… hence the new car I’m getting… not bad for £25.” Users who swiped up on the story were then taken to Thebettingman’s website where they could sign up for the service.

However, a complainant suggested that Gowland’s story wasn’t clearly marked as an ad and that it was irresponsible, and that using Thebettingman, a tipster gambling service, was a way of achieving financial security. What’s more, using individuals under the age of 25 in gambling ads is prohibited under UK regulations, and the ad featured Gowland who was 24 at the time of appearing in the ad.

In response, TBM Enterprises, the company which operates Thebettingman, claimed it did not ask Gowland to post the Instagram Story but did admit that the post should have included an “#ad” label along with the hashtags “#gambleresponsibly” and “#18+”. Gowland, meanwhile, agreed that the ad was a promotional post and that he had read the ASA’s rules and would label any other marketing communications with the “#ad” tag.

The ASA upheld the complaints and acknowledged that Gowland was promoting Thebettingman service and told his followers how to access the service, but criticised the ad for not indicating that the Instagram Story was an ad before allowing users to engage with it.

In addition, the advertisement regulatory body found that the Instagram Story was not identifiable as a marketing communication and as a result, breached CAP Code Rules 2.1 and 2.3 regarding the recognition of advertisements. The ASA also responded to claims that the post was irresponsible, stating that although Thebettingman service was not gambling, its purpose is to facilitate gambling and rules that it was irresponsible and breached social responsibility guidelines.

The organisation also referenced Gowland’s claims that he had made £450 in a weekend, £1,000 over a week, and described the service as the best “second source of income” he ever had. The ASA found that Gowland’s claims implied that users would win large sums on a regular basis and in a short space of time.

Finally, the ASA also acknowledged that the advertisement was irresponsible for using Gowland, who was aged 24 at the time of starring in the ad. With the ASA looking at the advert for facilitating gambling, it found that featuring a celebrity under 25 to be irresponsible and that the ad had breached CAP Code rule 1.3 regarding social responsibility.

As a result, the ASA warned Thebettingman, Gowland, and TBM Enterprises that the advertisement can no longer appear in the form it initially appeared as and that all future ads must be clearly identified. The ASA also warned the gambling companies that future ads must not feature a celebrity under 25 or suggest that using betting tipsters is a way of achieving financial security.

Videoslots Launches New Responsible Gambling Mechanic

The news comes after leading online casino Videoslots has launched a brand new responsible gambling mechanic. Known as the responsible gambling bar, the new mechanic will help customers identify how much time they’ve spent gambling on the website to help them manage their time more efficiently.

According to iGamingBusiness, the responsible gambling bar, which launched today (November 19), will always be visible on the website once players have logged in. It will feature an 18+ badge, a session timer, and will feature links to GamSTOP, the UK Gambling Commission’s website, and Videoslots’ responsible gambling page with information on help and support.

Speaking about the new mechanic, Amina Norgosanow, the Head of Responsible Gambling at Videoslots, said: “The Responsible Gambling Bar will make sure our players are always aware of the time they spend on the Videoslots site. It gives them easy and direct access to information and assistance, like responsible gaming tools and self-exclusion, and will help them stay in control from the start to the finish of their customer journey.”

She added: “In more general terms, it will enhance the standard of protection that our players enjoy and reduce gambling-related harm. That is especially important while the coronavirus pandemic makes some players more vulnerable.”

Norgonsanow claims that the Responsible Gambling Bar will remain on the website long after the pandemic ends. The brand new mechanic joins Videoslots’ other responsible gambling tools which include its wagering, session time, and maximum betting limits, as well as session time alerts and time out opportunities.

The launch of Videoslots’ new Responsible Gambling Bar comes as the UK Gambling Commission and other regulatory bodies continue to work hard to raise standards within the gambling industry and promote more responsible gambling. This month alone, the UK Gambling Commission fined operator BoyleSports over anti-money laundering failings and revoked Silverbond Enterprises Limited’s gambling license due to a change in corporate control.

What’s more, the UK Gambling Commission and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have both partnered to launch new rules and regulations within the industry. Some recent changes include a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling, a new Code of Conduct on the design and play of video slots, changes to how VIP Programmes are run at online casinos, and more.

Meanwhile, the BGC has been extensively campaigning for the reopening of casino venues and betting shops amidst the constant-changing COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland as well as under England’s current coronavirus lockdown.