UK Set for Upheaval; Casino Industry to Comply with Strict Advertising Rules
2018 is set to be a dramatic year of changes within the UK casino industry. These changes are expected to impact both operators and players. One of the key trends the country is to observe this year has to do with online casino advertising and marketing campaigns. The country’s Committee of Advertising Practices has already been hard at work implementing new rules around the advertising of casino gaming services and products.
The aim of the new rules is to ensure great protection for players amid a rise with casino gaming addiction. They come in the wake of research carried out by the UK Gambling Commission that revealed that up to 2 million UK citizens have either developed a problem or are at a high risk of addiction.
UK Casino Industry to Comply with New Advertising Rules
Online casino operators licensed in the UK are required to obey several new requirements in terms of exploitative or misleading advertising that might target vulnerable groups of players. Failure to comply could result in hefty fines.
Under the latest rules, operators may not broadcast adverts during live sports event. What’s more, ads that encourage viewers to “bet now” or promote “risk-free” offers are included in the category of campaigns deemed to target vulnerable players.
Bet Now, Free Bet and Risk-Free No More
“Free bet” advertisements have been dubbed misleading as they’re relatively easy to misinterpret. They don’t clearly state that “free bets” are actually matched bets. In other words, you are required to deposit a certain amount of cash before you receive your free credits. While such information is usually stated in a promotion’s t’s and c’s, there is still great room for misinterpretation.
The same goes for “bet now” adverts where players are provoked to urgently take advantage of an offer. Betting operators may no longer use this kind of phrasing in their campaigns. Money Back deals have also come under fire since casino operators would be required to pay back their player’s losses in cash rather than offering out free credits.
As for “risk free” bets, such ads are prohibited from causing players to incur losses. The winnings accumulated with these kinds of offers are capped at a certain amount. In line with the new rules, the profit restrictions are a promotional condition and must be stated clearly.
What Effect Will the New Rules Have on Operators and Players Across the UK?
The changes to casino advertising policies are expected to bring about a positive effect. Players in the UK will enjoy greater customer protection, and you’ll still get to enjoy things like sign up bonuses and free spins when checking out new online slot or video poker games, for instance.
Overall, the changes have been introduced in the wake of what was a difficult year for the online casino industry – a year that was marked by numerous scandals in terms of negligence and advertising content that could potentially appeal to children.
Things are certainly looking up for the industry and we look forward to seeing what plays out in the months to follow.
Looking for more information on online casino? Check out our FAQ’s here!