Remote bingo and casino operator Broadway Gaming Ltd is to pay a penalty package of £100,000 for failing to include significant terms linked to promotional advertisements found on five of its gambling websites.
This stems from a June 2016 Advertising Standards Authority decision upholding a complaint about an advert that appeared on Broadway Gaming’s Butlers Bingo website. The ASA ruled that the advert (that offered “Deposit £10. Play £35”) was misleading as it did not communicate significant conditions associated with the promotion. Further investigation by the Gambling Commission found similar failings on Broadway Gaming’s Bingo Diamond, Casino of Dreams, Dotty Bingo and Rehab Bingo websites. As David Clifton has previously warned, operators or advertisers who breach the CAP & BCAP Codes face referral by the ASA to the Gambling Commission or Ofcom for potential additional sanctions.
Broadway Gaming has accepted these adverts breached the Commission’s social responsibility codes, requiring gambling advertisements to comply with the CAP Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing, and in particular that they must state significant limitations and qualifications.
This case provides a yet further example of gambling operators having to accept liability for the misdemeanours of their affiliates and the Commission is advising all licensed gambling operators to read the attached public statement and to pose to themselves the following questions:
- Have you ensured marketing communications include significant limitations and qualifications which consumers should be aware of?
- Have you ensured marketing communications are compliant with LCCP provisions and CAP and BCAP rules?
- Have you used the free and paid for copy advice service provided by the ASA and CAP?
- Have you ensured contractual terms and conditions with affiliates are robust?
- Have you ensured that affiliates are clear of their requirements regarding advertising standards and the consequences of compliance failings?
- Are you conducting regular audits of your affiliates’ activity against your compliance policy?
- Are you auditing new affiliates’ websites, in addition to the creative and copy used, before accepting them onto your affiliate programme?