32Red, an online casino brand operated by the Kindred group has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The advertising regulator has sanctioned the online casino brand for violating gambling advertising code.
A google search advert of 32RED popped up when the term ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ was in the search bar. This raised concerns if the gambling adverts were aimed at targeting children and minors – more so given the medium and the context in which they pooped up on google.
The gambling operator said that it was aimed at targeting google users and that the game was already classified as high risk. However, 32Red conceded that it “had been included on their website’s list of slot games in error”.
In its judgment, the ASA wrote “they said they removed the ads as soon they were brought to their attention and also checked that other high-risk games also were not being actively advertised. They had put in place steps to ensure that any such high-risk titles did not appear in keyword lists for ad targeting in future”.
“Because it was a highly popular classic children’s fairy tale, we considered that there was a strong possibility that this search term would be input by children or adults who were accompanied by a child.
“We, therefore, considered that, by targeting ads to search engine users who used that term, 32Red had not specifically and carefully targeted the ad only at those aged 18 or over, and had therefore directed gambling ads to those aged under 18 years of age.”
Gambling addiction has been on the rise in the UK, especially amongst children. According to the latest UKGC figures, the number of children at risk of gambling addiction in the UK has risen by 400 percent in the past two years.