In today’s story, the UKs advertising watchdog caught 5 online gambling operators who broke the law on gambling ads targeting children. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) monitors websites popular with children and reported a total of 151 instances were gambling ads popped up. Let’s read on.
If you follow the latest online gambling news, you’ll find even more stories of how children are exposed to gambling: outrageous numbers of addiction cases , how YouTubers are involved and public reactions to child gambling. Feel free to check out our other articles on the topic and keep up to date with current news on children gambling awareness.
Gambling ads targeting children: 5 UK gambling servers have crossed the line
Gambling ads targeting children are illegal in the UK. According to law, online gambling ads can only target people in the 18+ age bracket and the ASA have discovered 5 UK operators who have broken that law.
The ASA created a handful of “child avatar” simulators, designed to browse online pages that a child would, and they monitored the different advertisements that the profiles were exposed to.
This experiment only lasted two weeks, but, as you can guess, they had over 40 hits of gambling ads. These popped up on freely accessible online outlet sites, including 20 YouTube channels and over 2 dozen child oriented websites.
5 culprits were found – Vikings Video Slot, Redbet, Multilotto, Unibet and PlayOjo, however it was Vikings Video Slot that was held the most dangerous with half of all the ads and 80% of the recorded instances (from the 153 hits they had 122)
Unibet, known for being the main sponsor of Premier League club Aston Villa and Warwickshire county criket club, released the following statement:
“The advert was served by a third party without the control or knowledge of Kindred/Unibet and in breach of the contractual terms in place,” said Alexander Westrell, the group head of communications at Kindred. “The advert was served due to a fault in that third party’s systems and the fault has been addressed. The advert did not lead to under-18 gambling.”
So it was the fault of third party marketing, and the operator says they never knowingly accepted business from customers under 18. But surely the main problem is that online gambling servers should take responsibility for their gambling ads targeting children, for even if they will not accept their business, they are contributing to a social problem in the UK that has only got worse in recent times. Let us know in the comment section below about your opinion on gambling ads targeting children or if you have any experience with children gambling addiction.