Over the past few months, we have seen a number of big online bingo sites fined by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for social responsibility failures. The latest is Butlers Bingo, a failure that has cost them £100,000!
Butlers Bingo Advertising Fine
Butlers Bingo and other bingo sites at Broadway Gaming came up short in how they were advertising their welcome bonus on their home pages.
Whilst the text was clear in what the financial offer was, in the case of Butlers Bingo ‘ Deposit £10, play with £35’, they did not make clear what the terms and conditions of the bingo sign up deal were.
This led to a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last year and subsequently, an investigation by the UKGC got underway in March of this year.
Butlers Bingo Get Off Lightly
In comparison with 888 who were fined £7.8 million for their shortcomings in social responsibility areas and Gala Bingo, who is now showing £2.3 million less on their bottom line, Butlers Bingo got off lightly with their fine.
However, the original complaint about Butlers Bingo to the ASA saw their advert banned for breaching two particular CAP Codes.
All marketing communications or other material referring to promotions must communicate all applicable significant conditions or information where the omission of such conditions or information is likely to mislead. Significant conditions or information may, depending on the circumstances, include:
CAP 8.17.1 – How to participate
How to participate, including significant conditions and costs, and other major factors reasonably likely to influence consumers’ decision or understanding about the promotion.
A bit of further investigation revealed that since the ruling against Butlers Bingo that triggered the UKGC and subsequent investigation and fine, two other online bingo brands also had complaints against them upheld for breaching the same two CAP codes.
More Bingo Advertising Failures
A text message from Lucky Pants Bingo was found to be in breach of the game two codes in a ruling on 6th July 2016. In November 2016, Big Bucks Bingo had part of a complaint against them upheld for the very same breach.
Could it be that we are going to see more retrospective fines levied against other online gambling operators in the future? Social Responsibility is changing the landscape of online bingo in the United Kingdom.
It means that bingo operators have to be totally transparent about bonuses & the terms associated with bingo bonuses as this policy is not limited to sign up bonuses. This is a good thing for bingo players in the UK.