An advert that appeared on a news website that linked to igaming operators 888, Casumo, Ladbrokes and Sky Vegas has been the subject of scrutiny by the UK Advertising Standards Authority.
In total, nine complaints were made to ASA regarding an advertorial created by the affiliate website, which were upheld as the advertising watchdog deemed the adverts “socially irresponsible.”
The advert in question featured a depressed man named William who was £130,000 in debt due to paying for his wife’s medical bills. After “stumbling upon” one of the operator's sites, he wins “over 30 times his annual salary in a single spin.”
ASA’s ruling stated: “The ASA considered that the content of the ads targeted vulnerable people as it identified a number of personal difficulties William had to overcome, including having to sell his property to pay his wife’s medical bills, dealing with his wife’s cancer and how he did this through taking up the offer. The ads specifically stated how William was depressed when he saw the ad and made the decision to gamble.”
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.”