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Jerome García December 20, 2023 3 min read
ASA Upholds Ruling against Betfred over Ad Placement
Upholding its ruling against Betfred, the ASA said that an advertisement that aired on The Roku Channel breached the CAP Code rules
The regulator in charge of advertising across the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), challenged whether an advertisement of Betfred that aired back in April was directed toward individuals under the age of 18. The advertisement in question was streamed during the PrestonPlayz program, popular for its content including games such as Minecraft, on the over-the-top streaming service, The Roku Channel on April 17, 2023.
In its advertisement, Betfred promoted its Live Betfred Casino with a voice-over saying: “Welcome to Betfred Casino. Here you can play a range of slot and table games or take a seat in our live casino.” Considering the platform that was used for the advertisement, the ASA challenged whether the ad was directed at audiences under the age of 18.
The scrutiny of gambling advertisements comes at a time when the ASA ramped up its rules for such ads last year. The Authority’s ultimate goal was to decrease the possibility of underage individuals viewing gambling advertisements. Effectively, gambling operators in the UK are required to comply with those regulations, ensuring that the advertisements for their products do not appeal or reach underage audiences.
In the recent case, Betfred responded that it took proactive steps to ensure that its advertisement complies with the existing regulations. Upon sourcing an agency to air the ad in question, the operator specifically requested for the target audiences to be above the age of 18, underlining its commitment to advertise only with adult audiences.
Betfred said that as a streaming service, Roku requires its users to confirm they are above the age of 18 when registering. Moreover, the operator said that the TV agency received those instructions and disclosed them to Roku at the start of the advertising campaign.
The Advertisement Breached Cap Code Rules
Upholding its decision against Petfre Ltd t/a Totesport, Betfred, the advertising gambling regulator concluded that the advertisement breached CAP Code rules 1.3, related to social responsibility, 16.1 and 16.3.13, related to gambling. As a result, the ASA said the advertisement must not appear again without specific controls that seek to reduce the likelihood of people under the age of 18 being exposed. Additionally, the regulator asked the operator not to use media with a “disproportionately large audience of under-18s.”
Recently, another ad by Betfred was under fire by the ASA. The advertisement in question was released via X ahead of upcoming fights for Anthony Joshua.