Saturday, 24 August 2019

Gambling App Advert Banned For Featuring Young Football Players

Football Index

A gambling app advert has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for featuring young football players.

An advertisement of a gambling app for Football Index, a Jersey-based website that allows users to trade virtual shares in players on a stock market-based platform, was banned for featuring football players under the age of 25. According to reports, the advert suggested players could claim “handsome profits” for trading shares on 19-year-old Jadon Sancho, a footballer who plays for German team Borussia Dortmund.

The app also included footballers such as 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi who plays for Chelsea, 21-year-old Marcus Rashford who plays for Manchester United, 24-year-old Raheem Sterling who plays for Manchester City and 20-year-old  Kylian Mbappé who plays for Paris Saint-Germain and won the French World Cup.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s code states that gambling advertisements cannot feature anyone under the age of 25 unless the ad is displayed somewhere a bet can be made such as on a sports betting website or shop. Under this rule, under-25s cannot appear in ads on social media, television, the general internet and in public.

This led the ASA to rule that Football Index’s gambling advertisement breached the firm’s code. The ASA told the operator that its advert must not be shown again and the firm accepted the ASA’s ruling. The company’s marketing director Mike Bohan said in a statement: “We have reviewed our marketing practices to ensure they are compliant with the advertising regulations and accurately represent Football Index’s socially responsible platform. We now consider the matter closed.”

Gambling Advertisements

The news comes just days after a study from Bristol University discovered that thousands of children are regularly exposed to gambling advertisements on social media. The study analysed over 800,000 tweets relating to gambling and e-Sports and found that around 41,000 of the Twitter accounts that interacted with the tweets belonged to minors under the age of 16.

The study also found that children are more likely to respond to advertisements centred on e-Sports and that fruit slot machines are generally the first exposure children have to gambling. Other evidence has indicated that exposure to gambling at a young age may lead individuals to develop a gambling problem later in life.

The UK government and UK Gambling Commission have both been attempting to reduce the rate of underage gambling. Earlier this year, the UK Gambling Commission introduced new age verification rules which requires newly registered players to immediately verify their identity and age.

Meanwhile, the NHS announced that it had plans to open its first-ever underage gambling clinic for people aged 13 to 25. The clinic would provide help to individuals suffering from gambling addictions or other problems.