This week the UK Gambling Commission has ordered more than 450 casinos operating in the country to remove ads that target children.
The regulator is serious about cracking down on underage gambling and they sent a letter to the casinos warning them that they need to abide by the current laws. The advisory read: "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. This relates particularly to freely accessible ads for play-for-free and play-for-money games and includes all graphics and images displayed on a website or in third party media."
"You must immediately amend or remove any freely accessible ads on your website or in third party media space that are likely to appeal particularly to under-18s."
The Gambling Commission noted that certain games have been developed to appeal to children thanks to cartoonish-looking graphics and various youthful references. The move comes amid reports that various casinos offered free to play modes of these games that don't require age verification and work as a tool to get children into gambling. It's estimated that there are 450,000 children gamblers in the UK, with 9,000 of those thought to be problem gambling.
We'll be updating readers as we learn more about the moves are known. There's no doubt that the order will have large ramifications in the industry and we'll make sure to keep readers up to date.
I have to say that although I can understand the reasons behind this- it is tricky. Where do we draw the line on what is childish and what's not? I mean I can like a cartoon looking game and I am not a kid.
I'm agree with what blck says, more so the casinos don't have a control of who entering their sites, but from the other side the authorities have the right to insist on that and maybe the problem is more in the approach of some casinos and game developers who create and run some really childish looking games which influence and draw the kids entering the sites. It's of course a theme of debate.
I agree with you here. Because the thing is- it's really risky. Casinos may think that something isn't child-marketed and can get into trouble because someone else may think it is children-targeted.