Gambling sites urged to stop luring children in with 'cartoon characters'

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 23, 2017

The UK Gambling Commission, the Committee of Advertising Practice, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Remote Gambling Association have jointly written an open letter in response to the investigation, which alleges that a number of online gaming brands are using children's story characters such as Peter Pan and Jack and the Beanstalk to sell their services to minors.

The warning from regulators has cautioned of possible sanctions should sites fail to comply with the CAP code, which requires marketing communications for gambling to be socially responsible.

The letter, which was sent to more than 450 operators including William Hill and Bet365 on Friday, states: "We are writing to advise you to amend or remove immediately any ads on your website or in third party media that are likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger ... and generally available to view".

Speaking together in the letter the organisations said: "Recent articles in the United Kingdom national press have highlighted a number of freely accessible ads on gambling operator websites, which feature images that are likely to appeal particularly to under-18s; this is unacceptable".

Four gambling Industry watchdog organisations have issued a joint letter to gambling operators across the United Kingdom asking them to withdraw any advertisements that might appeal to children from their websites, following a Sunday Times investigation.

The included a free-to-pay mode in their products, which required no age verification, and was used to introduce children to the whole concept of gambling, the paper said.

A survey by the Gambling Commission previous year revealed that around 450,000 children in England and Wales gambled on a weekly basis, with 9,000 of them being "problem gamblers".

The Local Government Association (LGA) also backed the call, saying that councils had previously asked for greater restrictions.

"It is vital our children and young people are kept safe and protected from the problems gambling can cause".

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