In the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) watchdog has reportedly ordered terrestrial television broadcaster, ITV, to remove gambling advertisements that had been attached to an app being sponsored by the online casino at TombolaArcade.co.uk.
‘Clicking through’ ability:
According to a Wednesday report from The Guardian newspaper, the mobile app is branded around the broadcaster’s popular, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here program, and allows users to vote of the outcome of the show at the same time as ‘clicking through’ to enjoy a variety of casino-style slot games from TombolaArcade.co.uk.
The app initially came under fire in November amid allegations that it was not doing enough to protect underage users from seeing gambling-related content. It detailed that this was due to the service featuring adverts that offered users the ‘chance to win a share of £250,000 for free’ simply for signing up to vote on program results.
Sunderland-headquartered Tombola Limited, which is the firm behind TombolaArcade.co.uk, responded by stating that it had worked with ITV as well as the broadcaster’s media buying agency to make certain that the app’s adverts were not targeting those under the age of 18. It purportedly moreover declared that its own research had shown that some 91% of viewers for I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, which airs after the 9pm watershed, are of legal gambling age.
However, the ASA reportedly disagreed and proclaimed that the app, which has already been downloaded more than one million times, would still appeal to those under the age of 18 but does not feature any mechanism to block gambling-related content from being shown to this particular group.
In its findings, the ASA also cited a recent investigation from the Gambling Commission that had uncovered a significant rise in the number of those in the nation aged between eleven and 16 who regularly partake in some form of gambling. This examination had additionally moreover discovered that up to 55,000 of these minors had already developed a gambling problem with the number of those at risk currently standing at approximately 70,000.
Reportedly read a statement from the ASA…
“We considered TombolaArcade.co.uk should not have used the app to deliver gambling ads to consumers. We therefore considered the advertiser had not taken sufficient care, through the selection of media, to ensure that the ads were directed at an audience aged 18 and over so as to minimize under-18s’ exposure to them.”