The Swedish Market and patent court has ruled against Ninja Casino and in favor of Sweden’s Consumer Watchdog. The ruling determined that the brand’s application of its full-screen pop-ups goes against the law on moderation of gambling advertising.
The ruling won’t impact Ninja Casino’s activities that much since its operating license was canceled last June, and an appeal against this move was also rejected. Nevertheless, this ruling might set precedence against other license holders in the gambling market.
The watchdog’s argument has been that the casino’s adverts are in breach of Sweden’s gaming act (section 47), which states that when a firm markets gaming content to would-be consumers, it must do so in moderation, although this is not outlined exhaustively.
Overall, the Ombudsman has received close to 20 such complaints, and all were upheld in court. It also stated that the contents of the advert were likely to encourage excessive gambling leading to addition. Of particular concern is the fact that the advert focused on the ease in which consumers can deposit or withdraw funds, their prospect of scoring a huge jackpot.
The watchdog went on to say that the call to action to play targets vulnerable consumers, and the advert’s reference to success tactics drew attention to a level of skill that is not real.
Global Gaming’s Elec Games has argued that the advert has been moderated and that requirements stated in the Gaming Act do not provide guidance on how an advert should be presented. Elec Games went on to argue that they did not exaggerate the likelihood of a consumer winning a massive jackpot.
Furthermore, Elec Games claimed there is no connection between problem gambling and marketing.
But, the court ruled that the takeover advert format does not appear moderated since potential consumers have to engage with the advert if they wish to access the original website they were looking for. Additionally, the court stated that the advert’s reference to successful tactics suggests that consumers have the power to influence the outcome of games, which is not correct factually.
The court went on to point out that that advert encouraged consumers to bet on the move, which is an unusual time to be gambling. In essence, the advert was promoting irresponsible behavior.
Under the current ruling, the casino cannot promote such content except on web pages it owns. It must also pay the watchdog’s legal fees.