The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has sanctioned gaming operators over the publication of adverts that could specifically appeal to children.
The complaints were made by the campaign group, Fairer Gambling relating to promotions by Fun88.co.uk, Letou.co.uk and ProgressPlay owned m88.com.
Three of the complaints were in regards to m88 and were about Fairytale Legends Red Riding Hood, Fairytale Legends Hansel and Gretel, as well as Fairies Forest.
The ASA cited part of its decision for upholding the complaints was because the games were available to play on demo mode before signing into the site. However, moving forward as part of its response m88.com ceased the availability of demo mode on the games without going through age verification checks and a sign in process.
Further responding, m88.com stated that it was part of its policy that prior to launching any game on their website, the game and its graphics were thoroughly reviewed in order to ensure that there was nothing within it that was likely to have particular appeal to children.
The group also stated that addressing all responsible gambling issues with their business partners was an essential and substantial part of their commercial agreement, and included ensuring that ads for their games would not have particular appeal to children. Any breach of that policy, authorised m88.com to terminate the agreement with their business partners.
Although the ASA welcomed the response of m88.com, it also deemed that “The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told m88.com to ensure that their gambling ads did not have particular appeal to under-18s.”
Also feeling the wrath of the ASA for a similar offence was both Fun88.co.uk and www.letou.co.uk, with the campaign group Fairer Gambling once again complaining that the site had gambling content that could be of a specific appeal to children.
A total of eight complaints were received about the operators, with both emphasising that the demo version of the games were only available after the consumer had logged into the site.
In conclusion, the ASA upheld six of the eight complaints ruling that they must be removed from the site as they had a specific appeal to youths and appeared on unrestricted parts of the site.