Four Online Gaming Operators Sponsoring UK Football Clubs Under ASA Investigation

Ivan P. - January 29, 2018

The Advertising Standards Authority will be examining marketing practices of four major online gambling operators for children-targeted marketing violations.

Late last year, the UK Advertising Standards Authority ordered all the gambling operators featuring a UK license to remove any and all advertising materials that could be considered appealing to children and minors. The letter sent out in October was more than an idle threat as the ASA is now coming after four gambling operators known for sponsoring some of UK's biggest football clubs, The Sunday Times reports.

Cartoon Characters Used to Promote Gambling

According to the complaint submitted by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, several gaming sites use cartoon characters to promote free games. The sites in questions are all shirt sponsors of major UK clubs: 138 (Watford), M88 (Bournemouth), Letou (Swansea), and Fun88 (Newcastle United).

In their letter, the Campaign for Fairer Gambling is requesting the ASA to examine the facts and establish if marketing strategies of these four operators are in violation of rules laid out in the joint letter from October. According to the Sunday Times, only Letou commented on the investigation, asserting games on their site could only be played after a proper identity and age verification.

UK Gambling Reform Continues

The latest investigation is only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to looming gambling regulation changes in the UK. The UKGC, the governing gambling regulatory body in the country, proposed serious changes to licence conditions for the operators looking to offer their services in the UK. Many of these changes have to do with fairer advertising practices, gambling terms, and complaint resolution practices.

The consultation period for these proposed reforms will last until April 22, allowing all affected parties as well as members of the general public to voice their thoughts and opinions. This should help finalize the proposal and shape up the online gambling sector in the UK, which has become the largest sector of the general gambling industry in the country.

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