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Online Casino Ad Campaign Condemned

While advertising standards in the UK are expected to be eased on online casino sites following the full implementation of the Gambling Act in 2007, the government isn’t about to start letting those online casino sites that transgress current regulations off too lightly. Recently online casino firm ‘The Pool’ came under fire in the UK from the Advertising Standards Authority for its controversial advertising campaign that allegedly encouraged underage gambling.

The online casino firm’s campaign came to the attention of legislators after it was discovered that its advertising campaign to promote its new online casinos pool betting services was largely aimed at teenagers. Under British law, 16 and 17 year olds are not prohibited from taking part in gambling pools. According to complaints, the online casino operator actively promoted this fact and targeted teenagers by placing ads in popular teen publications. The advertising campaign’s catchphrase was also condemned by the Advertising Standards Authority and The Pool was ordered to halt its campaign immediately.

A ban on online casino advertising is not usually demanded until a full investigation has been carried out. Analysts have pointed to The Pool case as a sign that the UK government means business despite a possible relaxation of advertising standards next year. The action may also have been motivated by political concerns after Conservative MPs pointed out that no online casino sites have yet been prosecuted for flouting advertising regulations in the UK.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.