Amid a tightened regulatory context, Betfred has avoided a penalty by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which has been going after online gaming and betting operators in the recent past.
Betfred Is Not in the Wrong Says ASA
One of Betfred’s latest advertisement in the United Kingdom has caused some stir, with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), the country’s regulator, stepping in to mediate the case.
The ad in question showed a man cooking, a woman exercising and yet another woman taking a shower while all were playing online bingo via various handheld devices. The voiceover highlighted “the fun” you could have while in the bathroom and playing online iGaming products:
Love to chill in the bath? Make it a thrill and a laugh with Betfred bingo. Forget those two little ducks, soak up the action and win big bucks. […]Kick back and bingo with Betfred.
Not soon after, a complaint was lodged, arguing that gambling was shown in an everyday context and thus normalized. However, Betfred was quick to respond that there was nothing addictive or excessive in the advertisement.
Further, the company argued that the ad didn’t incentivize high-stakes gambling nor was it insinuating in any form that immediate profit was within reach. Betfred was also supported by Clearcast, which is a non-government expert that examines a majority of the ads in the United Kingdom before broadcast.
Clearcast offered a more detailed explanation to show that the ad wasn’t incentivizing audiences to overlook important aspects of their lives by placing the gaming activity in mundane situations. For example, all individuals were alone in the ad, and not ignoring family, friends or work.
Furthermore, none of the individuals was shown as gambling on multiple different occasions. Rather, the ad displayed people who were killing time by playing online bingo using Betfred’s platform.
In their own interpretation, ASA also explained that bingo was played in conjunctions with all of the other activities rather being disruptive or taking precedence. Based on this and more, ASA didn’t find any basis to issue a penalty of any sort against Betfred. ASA has been one of the institutions to take the most gunk-ho approach towards online operators, and the all-clear from them is a positive sign for the reputation of the company.
Betfred is one of the handful of operators in the United Kingdom that has never been slapped with a financial fine. Even established leaders, such as Bet365 have been fined in the past by ASA and the UKGC, particularly in the case of a Mario Kart gambling ad, which the regulators found as too overtly targeting underage audience