Affiliate ad spells trouble for 888, Ladbrokes, Sky and Casumo

Reputation Matters

Reputation Matters

The advert in question depicted the case of "William" who was said to be £130k in debt and unable to pay his wife's medical bills before "stumbling upon an ad for Sky Vegas" while on Facebook.

It also said: "Because we considered that the ads suggested gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as depression and that it could be a solution to financial concerns, we considered it to be socially irresponsible and was therefore in breach of the code".

In the case of Sky Vegas, the ad states: "With little to no money to spend he admits he laughed and nearly scrolled past it until he saw they were offering a promotion that would reward him with £10 free at the Jackpot 7 game, which at over £700,000 was too hard to pass up".

The decisions related to an advert that had been created by affiliate websites of, 888, Sky Vegas and Ladbrokes Casino.

"With little to no money to spend he admits he laughed and nearly scrolled past it until he saw they were offering a promotion that would reward him with £10 free at The Jackpot 7 Game which at over £700,000.00 was too hard to pass up".

A complainant challenged whether the ad was irresponsible for suggesting that gambling could provide an escape from depression and was a solution to financial worries and the ASA challenged whether the ad made clear its commercial intent.

It also ruled that the adverts gave the incorrect impression that they were genuine news articles.

"While these ads were produced by an affiliate, they are ultimately the responsibility of the betting companies whose products they were selling".

"The Gambling Commission needs to take strong action against the beneficiaries of these disgusting ads, to make clear that nothing like this can be allowed to happen again". A good example of this is sports betting operator Paddy Power, who recently issued revised communication criteria to their affiliates clamping down on SMS, email and advertorial style marketing containing the Paddy Power brand.

Ladbrokes said its ad was created by an affiliate and had been removed.

A Ladbrokes spokesperson said: "Nobody in Ladbrokes Coral believes that this sort of "fake news" marketing has a place in the sector".

"Hopefully lessons will be learned, but, if not, affiliates can expect to see operators reconsidering their relationships and the real prospect of direct regulatory action".

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