In the UK, a link to an online casino that appeared on virtual games site King.com has seen the latter cautioned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint for a television advert.
Although the games offered by King.com are games of skill and not defined as ‘gaming’ or ‘gambling’ under the Gambling Act of 2005, a single complaint was received by the ASA over a television commercial that featured a woman playing its games and winning 20 pence. The viewer alleged that the advert was likely to be of particular appeal to children.
In its assessment, the ASA stated that the presentation of a link to RoyalGames.com on King.com was such that the two companies appeared interrelated. Furthermore, it said that several ads for membership with RoyalGames.com appeared with registered players at King.com offered a promotion that gave the impression becoming a member of the online casino was 'an upgrade' option available to players.
Although parent firm Midasplayer had removed the link to RoyalGames.com from King.com throughout the period the television ad was broadcast, the ASA stated that its own investigations had found that it had returned within two weeks of the ad's last date of broadcast.
“We understood that, usually, the two companies, King.com and RoyalGames.com, appeared interwoven…and considered that it was not satisfactory to remove reference to RoyalGames.com for a short period in order to avoid scheduling restrictions for a gambling product if that gambling product was simply reintroduced at a later date,” read the judgement from the ASA.
The ASA also found that the overall impression of the television advert including its simple language, videogame-like examples and cartoon images was likely to have a particular appeal to children or young persons and ruled that it should not be broadcast again in its current form.