ASA Bans Betting Adverts for ‘Encouraging’ Gambling

  • Coral and BetIndex both breached advertising guidelines in June this year
  • Both betting firms have denied any wrongdoing
  • The adverts have now been banned from any other form of publication
Two gambling operators have had adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after they were deemed ‘irresponsible’. [Image: Shutterstock]

High-profile operators involved

Two gambling operators have had adverts banned after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticized the commercials for being “irresponsible” and ruled that they were “encouraging” players to bet.

The television advert by Coral, owned by GVC, aired in June and featured a couple playing chess before a voiceover interrupts to say: “Don’t be silly. Bet savvy. Join Coral’s bet club and get a free £5 ($6.23) bet every Sunday. The smart money’s on Coral.”

Encouraging gambling

The advert was combined with a free £5 ($6.23) bet offer. This bet would be issued every Sunday to those who wagered at least £25 ($31) throughout the week. The ASA ruled that this offer was “likely to encourage” people to gamble repeatedly and lead to “harmful” behavior.

Current rules state that companies must avoid trivializing gambling and avoid the impression that the decision to gamble should be taken lightly.

Coral shot back at the watchdog to say that it strongly disagreed. The betting giant was adamant that the advert did not encourage frequent betting.

YouTube commercial

Meanwhile, in a sponsored YouTube commercial for channel FourFourTwo, BetIndex aired an advert entitled ‘How to make money from football index’.

It included two people from Football Index who went on to discuss what they called “the football stock market.” In the video they explained their website was “where you buy and sell shares in footballers with real money and you can win daily pay-outs which we call dividends.”

However, according to the ASA this

created the impression that the product was a lucrative investment opportunity.”

The ASA was also critical that no financial risks were associated with the content, despite it advertising a betting product, and that ultimately the video was “irresponsible” of BetIndex.

BetIndex replied by saying that its commercial made the risks clear.

Banned by ASA

Soccer is currently a high-profile issue for the ASA, with social media ads having already banned this season due to featuring players under 25.

Following a complaint, Facebook posts by Football Index were investigated. ASA found that they broke the rules for non-broadcasting ads, as no person aged under 25 can be shown to be gambling (or play a significant part of a gambling ad) unless it featured where bets are taking place.

Both adverts have now been banned from appearing in any other form. Coral and BetIndex must make sure that any future promotions are in line with gambling advertisement regulations that are not socially irresponsible.