Misleading Ads Result In Big Fine For GVC Holdings

Posted on February 21, 2018

In light of misleading advertisements, the UK Gambling Commission issued a £350,000 fine to GVC Holdings.

A subsidiary of the aforementioned UK-licensed gambling operator, ElectraWorks Limited, also received a warning for having a marketing management officer who did not have a personal management license (PML).

The company is the latest in a line of UK gambling operators to be investigated and fined over violating the country’s codes and practices for promoting gambling services.

Why is GVC Holdings being fined?

The UK Gambling Commission informed the Isle of Man-based company last year of a pending license review. This occurred after the company was found to have repeatedly breached advertising code violations.

Specifically, a free bonus on bwin.com violated provisions in the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice codes. The ad was subsequently removed, but the commission uncovered six more violations last April.

It also discovered GVC failed to employ a head of marketing and advertising with the necessary personal management license.

What other companies have been investigated and fined?

GVC’s fine comes after the UK Committees of Advertising Practice introduced “tougher standards” on gambling advertising. These pertain particularly to ads potentially targeting people with problem gambling behaviour.

Moreover, the advertising watchdog is cracking down on bonus bets and bonuses. The commission determined that ads seen to create a “sense of urgency” put problem gamblers at greater risk.

In August 2017, 888 UK Limited was fined a massive £7.8 million by the UK Gambling Commission for “failing” its “vulnerable customers.”

Sarah Harrison, chief executive at the Gambling Commission said:

“Safeguarding consumers is not optional. This penalty package of just under £8million reflects the seriousness of 888’s failings to protect vulnerable customers.

“The 888 sanction package will ensure those affected don’t lose out, that the operator pays the price for its failings via a sum that will go to tackling gambling-related harm, and that independent assurance will be given to see that lessons are learnt.”

The commission also fined BGO Entertainment Ltd. for misleading advertisements last May.

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Jack Stanton

Jack Stanton is a freelance journalist and marketing copywriter, specialising in the world of poker and online gaming. Jack's work has appeared on VICE, The Guardian, The Drum, PokerStars Blog, PocketFives, BLUFF Europe and more. As a live poker reporter, Jack has covered events in locations as far afield as the Bahamas, Chile, South Korea, Brazil, and all across Europe.

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