The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched investigations into Ladbrokes Casino, 888 Casino, Sky Vegas and Casumo after receiving in total nine complaints for adverts that were “targeting vulnerable people”.
The ads were suggesting that gambling could provide an escape from depression, personal problems and that it could be a solution to financial concerns.
One of the ads, specifically for Sky Vegas, referred to “William” who was “£130,000 in debt after having to sell the house and continue to pay out of pocket for his wife’s cancer-related medical bills their insurance wouldn’t cover”.
Sky Vegas said its ad was created by an affiliate and that they never approved it. The ads were published on the affiliate sites casinohack.co and uk.24hoursnews.co. Also, the other operators claimed that the ads were created by affiliates.
ASA stated: “Because we considered that the ads suggested gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as depression and that it could be a solution to financial concerns, we considered them to be socially irresponsible.”
“The ads must not appear again in their current form.”
“We told the firms that their future ads, including those prepared by affiliates, must be clearly identifiable as marketing communications and to take care to ensure their ads were prepared in a socially responsible way.”