Denmark has ordered the removal of a Mr Green Casino TV ad. The ruling comes after the Gambling Advertising Board (GAB) reviewed the commercial and decided against it in a ruling that is a first for the newly-established regulator. GAB, which launched in August 2021, has taken the time to review the pending case against Mr Green and reach a verdict.
GAB Takes First Case and Rules against Operator
GAB’s structure guarantees maximum objectivity in cases of conflict, as its chairman is a neutral, qualified professional, such as a judge. The regulator itself consists of multiple bodies, including the Danish Casino Association and the Danish Online Gambling Association.
The ad was originally aired in December 2020 and ahead of a Christmas-themed show called Juleønsket, translated as “Christmas Wish.” Consumers immediately alerted regulators that the ad was aired too closely to the show, which may have been seen by children, and raised red flags.
Denmark is currently considered the safest of all European markets when it comes to protecting consumers and children. Under the existing rules, the country does not allow an operator to target individuals who are not of the appropriate gambling age.
However, Mr Green argued that it had only purchased 18+ and 21+ advertising slots and did not intentionally seek to air the commercial right before the children’s show. TV 2, the station that aired the commercial, responded by arguing that the show was listed under 21+, which may have led to the confusion.
TV 2 further explained that Juleønsket was ranked in the same category as X-Factor, which had betting ads in the commercial breaks. Responding to the watchdog’s inquiry, though, TV 2 has been quick to take off all gambling-related ads from its streaming service.
GAB decided that, because of the Christmas-themed nature of the show, though, it was intended for children and the ad must not have been shown in that time slot. The marketing initiative has been found in violation of the Gaming Act and the Code of Conduct for the Gaming Industry.
Not Everyone Agrees with the Ruling
However, Mr Green was not without friends in the matter. According to Morten Rønde, a member of GAB, the operator did what it could to ensure that the company did not purposefully air advertisements that would be seen by children. Rønde argued that Mr Green had no knowledge that the ad would be shown before that specific show.
“I find that the defendant should not have foreseen – and that the defendant thus does not bear the responsibility for – that the advertisement was shown immediately prior to the ‘Christmas Wish,'” Rønde argued cited by SBC. Regardless, this ruling indicates that the onus is once again upon operators to anticipate such events and try to take preventative measures.
Mr Green faced more difficulties in the Nordics after receiving a $3.62 million fine due to KYC/AML complications.