HomeInsightsGambling Commission fines business £300,000 for misleading advertising

The Gambling Commission is warning gambling operators to ensure advertising is not falling foul of social responsibility rules or deceiving consumers.

Marking the first financial penalty imposed by the Commission for advertising failings, BGO Entertainment Ltd (BGO) has been fined £300,000 for misleading advertising on its own and its affiliates’ websites.

Since May 2015, Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) require all licensed gambling operators to include in their advertisements any significant limitations relating to promotions, to avoid misleading consumers. The Commission says that it has worked closely with the Advertising Standards Authority to raise standards in this area.

The Commission first raised concerns with BGO about its advertising in July 2015. The investigation established that:

  • BGO and its affiliates published misleading advertisements for promotions;
  • BGO did not take timely and effective action to address the misleading advertisements; and
  • BGO provided inaccurate assurances that the issues had been fully addressed.

The Commission is encouraging all operators to read the decision notice, which sets out the findings and emphasises the importance of:

  • understanding and applying the rules relating to advertising, as set out in the LCCP, the CAP/BCAP Codes and the Guidance on the rules for gambling advertisements; and
  • taking responsibility for the actions of third parties such as affiliates, by making sure that marketing material they use is not misleading.

To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the decision notice, click here.