Broadway Gaming has decided to change the name of its Rehab Bingo brand to Rosy Bingo after the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scolded the company for a couple of issues. The ASA investigated on two issues, both of which were upheld.
The UK gambling advertising regulatory authority reviewed the operator’s website as well as a paid-for search advert for the Rehab Bingo brand which was seen on November 28th, 2017. The Advertising Standards Authority challenged whether the Rehab Bingo name was demonstrating socially irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to social, financial or emotional harm. The advertising regulator further challenged the name of the brand, saying it could suggest that gambling could offer players a way to escape their personal problems.
The owner of the Rehab Bingo brand, Broadway Gaming, responded to the ASA investigation, reminding that the bingo brand is related to the Rehab Group charity that officially rolled out the brand in 2005. The bingo website’s owner further explained that part of the funds raised from the Rehab Bingo website were redirected to the Rehab Group – a registered charity organisation that offered various health and social care services for both children and adults. At the time when the Rehab Bingo brand was launched, it was aimed to help the Group raise funds for various activities, including research, governance, advocacy and administration, and also for various projects helping people with disabilities.
Broadway Gaming also shared it was willing to rebrand the bingo website on request.
ASA Assessment and Ruling
After the process of review and investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled against Broadway Gaming, upholding both issues.
According to the CAP Code rules, adverts must not encourage customers to gamble, as that was considered socially irresponsible and could end up with social, financial or emotional harm inflicted on individuals. The UK gambling advertising regulatory body agreed that the Rehab Group charity launched the bingo brand to help it raise funds for various activities.
However, the ASA also found that “rehab” was a sensitive term to use in the context of gambling, in relation to the two issues investigated. The Authority found that was socially irresponsible. In addition, it reminded that gambling adverts must not suggest in any way that gambling could offer players an easy escape from their personal problems.
The UK advertising regulatory body shared that it understood that the term “rehab” was used in relation to the care and treatment services given to people suffering from various physical or mental illnesses, but found that inappropriate. According to the ASA, the term could suggest that online bingo was a form of rehab.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority ruling, the adverts of Rehab Bingo violated CAP Code rules 16.1, 16.3.1 and 16.3.3 related to gambling. It further ruled that the ads must not appear in their current form any more and reminded to Broadway Gambling that the term “rehab” must not be used in the context of gambling from now on.