ASA also is known as the Advertising Standards Authority, placed a ban on ads on BetIndex and Coral Interactive and Football Index. The agency believes the ads promote irresponsible gambling. These ads may not be aired again in any format, with each organization instructing their marketing department not to promote this kind of harmful behavior in future.
A subsidiary of GVC Holdings, bookmaker Coral Interactive, faced the wrath of the law for an ad they ran in June, which was used to promote its “Bet and Get Club.” The program allowed gamblers to get a free £5 bet after placing a bet of £25 the previous week. The ad shows a man and a woman playing a game of chess, and in the background, a voiceover promotes the “Bet and Get Club.” At the end of the ad, a large text on is displayed on the screen showing,
“Free £5 bet every Sunday when you bet £25+ Monday to Saturday.”
The ad was not received well as several people lodged complaints. Some people were of the opinion that by promoting the benefits of a weekly bonus, bettors were encouraged to gamble irresponsibly due to how often they would want to place a bet because of a bonus.
Coral claimed that any customer that didn’t want to participate could opt out whenever they wished. The company stated unequivocally that they did not believe the ad promoted irresponsible gambling. They also noted that bettors didn’t need to bet large sums for them to qualify.
They also added that all clients of the company were monitored continuously to know if they are showing signs of irresponsible gambling. Clearcast, an ad approval service cleared the air that these were the reasons the ad was approved in the first place.
Nonetheless, the ASA decided to sustain the complaint. They ruled that while bettors could leave the promo, there’s a likelihood that the words used in the ad could lead to irresponsible gambling among customers.
As explained by ASA, they said, “We acknowledged that the Bet and Get Club promotion did not require consumers to bet every day or every week. However, we considered that the suggestion that viewers should ‘join’ a ’club’ in order to receive a free £5 bet ‘every’ Sunday was likely to encourage some consumers to take up the offer repetitively. For that reason, we concluded that the ad was likely to encourage gambling behavior that was harmful and therefore breached the Code.”
Football Index, the owner of “football stock market,” BetIndex, was fined for a video they sponsored titled “How to make money from Football Index.” The video appeared in June on a football magazine YouTube Channel, FourFourTwo.
The complainant claimed that the video made suggestions that Football Index was a dependable way of earning income and was a credible investment opportunity. Instead of them to state the risks involved in clear terms.
BetIndex disputed this claims and stated that the ad outlined the risks clear enough as they stated in their description of Football Index, which said “football stock market.” According to BetIndex, they claimed their customers should know that partaking in such carries a risk. Also, the scheme was a long and ongoing bet, which they believe clearly shows the product is for betting and was not an investment.
The organization added that while the player’s value graphs in the ad showed an upward trend, it also included downward trends. They stated that a major point the video was trying to prove was for customers to how to play the game well.
Customers also needed to understand that they could lose their money. The company went on to say that they changed the title of the video to “Football Index: How to make money trading & betting on the football stock market” which was clear enough to all and sundry that it was a gambling product.
However, The ASA supported the complaint, as they ruled that the title and some portions at the start of the video repeatedly used specific terminologies from the stock market which suggested that Football Index could be considered to be more of an investment opportunity than a gambling service.
The video also emphasized majorly on payouts, and the bettors have the ability to earn money by using the service. The watchdog for ads also said that the ad suggested it could be used as a dependable source of income.
“We also acknowledged BetIndex’s comments that consumers would recognise that the value of stock market investments went up and down and that it was expressly stated in the ad that ‘any market prices naturally go up and down’.” the ASA said. “However, we considered that the substantial discussion around how money could be generated from the platform created the impression that the product was a lucrative investment opportunity.”
Both the corrected and the original ad must not be aired again in any form, and BetIndex was given a warning about their conduct in future.