The UK Gambling Commission has begun a crackdown on online gambling adverts which they deem unsuitable in a bid to protect the most vulnerable of gamblers who are exposed to such advertisements.
The move comes after recent reports of the online casino operator ElectraWorks Limited being fined after they were discovered to be promoting free bonuses. Found to be in breach of the current laws on such promotions, the commission slapped ElectraWorks with an astonishing $488,600 fine for falling short of standard regulations.
There were also reports undertaken on several other online casino operators at the same time where similar promotions were found to breach the required regulations. In turn, this has prompted an overhaul of how such casino operators word their adverts.
Updated Regulations Underway
On April 2, 2018, regulations will be updated and implemented, targeting specialist advertising. As a result, this will determine what can be promoted on the websites of all online casino operators as well as sports booking sites.
One of the more prominent issues that the UK Gambling Commission picked up on in its findings was the use of the phrase “Bet Now.” What appears to be amongst one of the more widely misleading and consequently abused phrases over several operators’ sites, this phrase will now be restricted according to the new regulations coming into play.
Other such adverts which have come to the attention of the commission are those promoting such concepts as repetitive play and the more worrying phrase of “risk-free deposits.” The intentions now are to restrict any such advert laying claim to such promotions. The rules will also extend to that of live sports events, which include football matches.
The End of Misleading Promotions
The idea at the heart of this new campaign is to target those operators’ adverts which play on the more vulnerable of potential players when it comes to their self-esteem and indeed their financial circumstances.
The new regulations emphasize the need for operators to advertise their conditions in advance and make them clear for all to see beforehand, thus eliminating any confusion for the players before gameplay begins. This involves the correct wording of such money back guarantees, alongside clearer rules on risk-free offers.
Free Bets Overhaul
Perhaps the most significant change is that of the advertisement of free bets. The UK Gambling Commission is intent on making it clear that any such misleading adverts from all online casino operators and sports betting will no longer be endured.
All online gambling operators will be held accountable for their advertisements when it comes to promoting their business online. This extends to how they advertise any free bets.
Currently, the commission believes many operators do not list their terms and conditions clearly and concisely enough through their displayed advertisements. Therefore, these offers are misleading and fail to make clear the exact limitations of such proposals.
Those in the industry who are concerned with the welfare of all gamblers believe that current advertising methods are designed to lure the more vulnerable of players to the operator’s website through misleading images, offers of no strings attached, free bets, and celebrated bonus offers.
With the UK Gambling Commission now on the case, come April 2 all online gambling operators will be assessed on a continual basis to ensure there is no evidence of such inappropriate advertising.
Overall, in a bid to improve the online gaming industry, the hope is that these new measures, added to the existing protective ones already in place, will encourage a better gaming experience for everyone to enjoy, albeit in a safer environment all around.