A radio advertisement for Boylesports stated:
“For live GAA score updates, stats and more as they happen, check out the new GAA live match centre on the Boylesports app. Why not check out the hottest action on the biggest match of the week right now and make Boylesports number 1 for GAA this Championship season. Boylesports, this is betting.
Need help? Contact gamblingcare.ie 18+”
The complainant, Extern Problem Gambling, objected to the advertisement as they did not consider that the advertisement had included a responsibility message as required by the Code. The complainant considered that the statement “need help?” was not an encouragement to gamble responsibly, but rather was directed at people who were already gambling in a harmful way, when the purpose of the message was supposed to prevent harm.
The advertisers said that they would respectfully disagree that the wording used was only directed at people who were already gambling in a harmful way. They said that the advertisement was directed at all listeners and the message referred them to a website that encourages responsible gambling. They said that the website was an independent charity setup to fund research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling related harm in Ireland and was a service intended for individuals that wished to gamble responsibly and also for individuals who may be at risk of experiencing gambling related harm. They said that the charity was funded by organisations such as them as well as other operators, as part of their commitment to responsible gambling. They said that the website was not just for those who were already gambling in a harmful way but was for anyone who wished to broaden their understanding of responsible gambling. They said that they felt that their reference to GamblingCare was intended to encourage responsible gambling and act as a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly for all customers, therefore, was in line with the Code requirement at Section 10.10.
They said that they treat the concerns of their customers and members of the public with the utmost importance, therefore they would ensure that the responsible gambling sign off tag line would include an explicit ‘Gamble Responsibly’ quote in all future campaigns. They said that they had historically and continued to be proactive in ensuring compliance to the ASAI Code.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the requirement of the Code that advertising for gambling products or services includes a message to encourage responsible gambling and also directs people to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly. While the Committee noted the advertising had directed listeners to a source of information about gambling and gambling responsibly, they did not consider that the statement “need help?” met the responsibility message requirement of the Code. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the advertisement was in breach of Section 10.10 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in its current form again.
The Complaints Committee welcomed the advertisers undertaking for future advertisements.