UK online gambling operator BGO Entertainment is the first operator to receive a fine and sanctions from the Gambling Commission (UKGC or UK Gambling Commission) for repeatedly failing to comply with social responsibility codes stipulated in the 2015 LCCP guideline (Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice) issued by the UKGC, according to an official notice from the agency’s website.

According to the notice, the UK casino which many associate with Verne Troyer, the actor that played Dr.Evil’s Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, is being accused of “misleading advertising” on its own website and those of its affiliates. Per the LCCP stipulations, UKGC licensees are required to outline important qualifications and limitations in their advertising campaigns, regardless of whether they were featured on social media or through an affiliate. This implies that any licensees have to state the qualification requirements for receiving a bonus offer, which includes outlining that things like wagering requirements are attached to the promo offers.

Gambling advertising has been in the focus of the UKGC ever since the LCCP was introduced. Last year the Gambling Commission announced an initiative to tighten daytime advertising policies to protect vulnerable categories and stated they will be reviewing current practices along with other problematic areas like Fixed-odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

After tracking the advertisements of BGO Casino on its own website from July 2015 – July 2016 and its affiliates’ domains from February – October 2016, the UKGC found nine misleading promotions on BGO’s website and fourteen at its affiliates, for which the company was issued a fine of £300,000 (US$383,000). As the notice states, BGO failed in addressing the found issues promptly, despite “extensive contact” with the UKGC and continuously assuring the agency that they have taken actions to meet the LCCP requirements.

Thus, the UKGC continued to find potentially misleading advertisements that failed to include important qualifications and limitations. According to UKGC Programme Director, Paul Hope, the licensing body now wants operators to note that the said issues will likely be a basis for other future assessments of other licensees.

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