The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is cracking down on operators that are not in compliance with advertising regulations. The authority has taken a strict stance against advertising practices that do not align with regulations.
Felix Faulkner, Solicitor at Poppleston Allen, emphasizes the importance for operators to ensure that their advertisements adhere to UK regulations. He notes that the gambling industry is considered a ‘high-priority area’ for the ASA.
Sky Bet recently came under scrutiny for promoting a post on X.com featuring Gary Neville and The Overlap football podcast, which was found to strongly appeal to those under 18. The ASA ruled that the post was irresponsible and inconsistent with the relevant CAP code.
Faulkner finds the ruling surprising, as the ASA has previously been more lenient on the use of other retired footballers in gambling advertising. However, in this case, the social media presence of Gary Neville and the way the investigation came to the attention of the ASA may have contributed to the ruling.
Other operators, such as Ladbrokes, bet365, and William Hill, have also faced complaints from the ASA based on intelligence gathered by its Active Ad Monitoring system. This system uses AI to identify online ads that do not comply with regulations.
The ASA’s strict enforcement indicates that it will continue to closely monitor gambling operators to ensure compliance with advertising rules, especially when it comes to the use of celebrities in gambling advertisements. In the first month that the rules were in force, the ASA brought the first complaint related to the CAP Code against Ladbrokes for a promoted X post. It has since issued several related rulings and conducted investigations based on complaints received.
The gambling industry is advised to elevate its compliance to new levels, as the ASA is proactive and dedicated to enforcing compliance by using its AI-based system to address gambling advertising issues. The main priority is to ensure that all gambling advertising complies with gaming regulations and promotes responsible gambling.
Overall, the UK ASA is taking a strong stance against non-compliant gambling advertising and is committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry.