The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued a warning to gambling operators, urging them to make sure that their advertising campaigns were not violating social responsibility rules or misleading their customers.
The British regulatory body has imposed the first financial penalty for advertising failings on the gaming provider BGO Entertainment Ltd. The company would be forced to pay a fine amounting to £300,000 for misleading advertising on both its own website and on its affiliates’ ones.
The Programme Director of the UK Gambling Commission Paul Hope commented on the situation, saying that everyone at the regulatory body wanted to guarantee fairness and transparency. As he revealed, that was exactly why they put some efforts in making sure that gambling industry operators were aware of the fact that misleading advertising was a very serious issue. He also explained that the Commission had the mechanisms to deal with the problem, including the power to impose financial penalties on companies.
Mr. Hope further explained that the UK Gambling Commission called for the operators to read the decision notice and pay further attention to the issues identified in the notice as problematic and could lead to law enforcement procedures and action again.
The current Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) of the UK Gambling Commission, which were put into effect in May 2015, require all licensed gambling operators in the country to ensure that they are not to mislead consumers. Companies that run their operations in the country must include significant limitations related to promotions, if any, in their advertisements in order to make sure they are not deceiving their customers. What is more, the UK Gambling Commission has been working in collaboration with the Advertising Standards Authority in order to raise the already existing standards in the advertising area.
The British regulatory authority has issued a special Decision notice after it found that BGO Entertainment Ltd has breached the conditions related to marketing and advertising. As revealed by the Commission itself, the gambling regulator has first expressed its concerns with the advertising policy of BGO in July 2015.
So, it initiated an investigation which established that both the iGaming operator and its affiliates used misleading advertisements for their promotions. What is more, BGO Entertainment Ltd did not take any effective action against the misleading advertisements they were warned about. In addition, the provider also failed to be accurate enough in its assurance that it had fully addressed all misleading issues.
As mentioned above, the UKGC calls for the gambling operators to make themselves familiar with the decision notice. It would also like to make sure that companies are aware how important it is for them to understand and apply the LCCP and CAP/BCAP Codes rules, Guidance and requirements related to advertising issues. What is more, the Commission would like to emphasize on the fact that operators must be ready to take the responsibility for third-party actions, so they must make sure that their affiliates do not use advertising strategies and materials that are misleading to customers.