Broadway Gaming is to pay a penalty package of £100,000, relating to an exclusion of significant terms linked to a number of promotional adverts on five of its gaming websites.
As well as the financial penalty, which would otherwise be imposed for a breach of license conditions, Broadway are to also pay a contribution to the costs of the investigation.
In addition to this an agreement to publish a statement outlining its failings, and lessons to be learned by the wider industry, was also imposed.
After the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) initially upheld a complaint about an advert in June 2016, the Gambling Commission completed a further investigation.
The ASA ruled that the initial advert, which offered “Deposit £10. Play £35,” was misleading due to the fact that important conditions for the promotion were not communicated.
A regulatory investigation, that commenced on March 6 of this year, found similar failings on the Bingo Diamond, Casino of Dreams, Dotty Bingo and Rehab Bingo websites also run by Broadway.
During this investigation Broadway also admitted that affiliate advertisers had placed similar adverts on other websites, whilst also admitting it is responsible for such actions, and the necessity to exercise greater control in future.
In its statement the Gambling Commission stated that: “Broadway has accepted these adverts breached SR code provision 220.127.116.11:
- Licensees must abide by any relevant provision of the CAP or BCAP code, as the case may be, which relates to ‘free bet’, ‘bonus’ or similar offers and in that regard follow the CAP and BCAP ‘Guidance on the rules for gambling advertisements’. In particular that:
Marketing communications (which include advertisements) must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. “
Concluding: “We consider that this case provides valuable learning for remote and non-remote operators. Operators must ensure that they do not mislead consumers or more generally cause consumer confusion by using unclear and ambiguous terminology in the marketing and advertising of their products.
“Their marketing and advertising should comply with the requirements of BCAP/CAP codes and the Licence conditions and codes of practice.
“Operators should take a proactive approach in assessing marketing and advertising promotions to ensure consumers are fully informed about the nature of the products on offer.”