Knives Out for Coral Over Alleged Influencer Campaign Targeting New Mothers for Online Gaming

  • NHS exec called targeting new mothers for iGaming recruitment was “predatory behaviour”
  • Entain allegedly stated it would take the offending blogs down ASAP, but they were live Sunday
Coral shop sign
The Entain-owned Coral brand is in hot water over old blogs that allegedly targeted new mothers to try online gaming as an escape from being housebound. [Image:]

If sources cited by the Guardian have their facts right, then the PR department of a UK Gaming brand owned by Entain is going to have to work overtime.

blogs contain calls to action suggesting housebound moms “consider bingo online”

Entain’s online casino site Coral finds itself at the center of a blazing media bonfire because of a drive to sign up new mothers to online gaming via blogs. Said blogs contain calls to action suggesting housebound moms “consider bingo online,” complete with links to the games.

New Zealand’s Problem Gambling Foundation shared the news via Twitter, as Entain incidentally stands on the brink of becoming that country’s sole operator of legal racing and sports betting:

If all the facts stand up, the Guardian expose will give Coral a lot of explaining to do. Blogs about healthy baby foods were, allegedly, merely Trojan Horses designed to convince confined mothers to try online games. Sources allege the call to action — “click here to play Bingo online at Coral” — ended with the tagline: “this momentary break from childcare can prove beneficial.”

That the blogs’ authors’ were allegedly parenting experts adds grist to the mill of an industry already under intense scrutiny worldwide, with Australia’s PM only this week slating sports betting ads.

NHS England’s national mental health director Claire Murdoch didn’t mince words about the Coral case. The NHS exec branded betting operators that target new/single mothers at particularly vulnerable stages of their lives as “cynical.”

“This is yet another example of predatory behaviour from a gambling industry which is worth billions each year,” Murdoch added.

Entain, which owns both Ladbrokes Coral and Coral, might have a valid excuse, however, because it only bought the firms in 2018, with the blogs in question posted from 2014 to 2016. According to the Guardian, while Entain said it would take the offending blogs down “as soon as possible” they remained live on Sunday.

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