Online Casino Advertising Under Fire in UK
The United Kingdom’s serious approach to advertising gambling services for online casino operators has been highlighted by a recent complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority. In its complaint the Methodist Church accused online casino operator Victor Chandler of irresponsible advertising, citing the linkage of gambling and alcohol as a major concern. The Church decided to bring the case to the Advertising Standards Authority to express concern about online casinos using advertising featuring alcohol to promote their gambling services.
In its advertising campaign, online casino firm Victor Chandler uses a well known comedian shown to be gambling online while consuming alcohol. Victor Chandler has denied charges of irresponsible advertising, pointing out that none of the posters featured in the campaign explicitly encouraged casino players to gamble at online casinos while under the influence of alcohol. The online casino company also responded that the consumption of alcohol is permitted in a variety of public places and depicting a gambler enjoying an alcoholic beverage is neither irresponsible nor harmful.
The Advertising Standards Authority accepted Victor Chandler’s defense, advising the advertisements did not seek to link gambling with alcohol. The campaign can be seen across London on both the London Underground and on city buses. However advertising for the online casino industry remains the subject of heavy scrutiny, with the UK government recently announcing heavy penalties and fines will be used to combat online casinos that repeatedly flout advertising regulations.