When the UK
Gambling Commission and Advertising Standards Authority
said they would be strict about online casino advertising
under the new 2005 UK Gambling Act regulations, they
weren't kidding. And it's not just sportsbooks, poker
rooms and online casinos they are watching over. Try one
of the more popular forms of online gaming in the UK and
catching on elsewhere in the world - online bingo.
In the same fashion
as what happened to an Inter Casino advertisement (among
a couple others), Wink Bingo's latest television ad has
officially been given the "ringer" by Britain's
Advertising Standards Authority. Apparently, the ad was
a little too risqué for the ASA, who said that the ad
could be interpreted as condoning online gambling while
in the workplace.
The ad was of a
maternity nurse celebrating and engrossed in her laptop,
which showed a Wink online bingo jackpot win on the
screen, while in the background a confused and
distraught husband was seen holding a teddy and the legs
of what is presumably his wife in full-fledged labor. A
slogan then appears on the screen: "Find the appropriate
Spacebar Media, who
created the ad for Wink, said the intent of the ad was
to distinguish Wink Bingo from other online bingo rooms
by being a bit "sassy and irreverent" and in no ways was
trying to encourage online gambling in the workplace.
And while the ASA did attest that the intent of the
commercial was to drum up some humor, as already
mentioned, they felt the slogan could be interpreted
wrongly. As a result, the ad has been banned.
On the other end of
the spectrum, the ASA rejected a complaint brought upon
another UK-facing online bingo room - Foxy Bingo.
Liberal culture spokesman Don Foster MP stated that the
use of the word "free" regarding a £10 bonus offer was
misleading, and that in actuality, the bonus is not free
but contingent upon depositing further funds.
Well, all of us in
the online gambling industry, especially those of us who
gamble at online casinos, know that nothing is ever
really free in the gaming world, and that all bonuses
are governed by certain terms and conditions. Even a
no-deposit bonus still has a wager requirement before it
can be cashed out. In essence, the extra money is indeed
free, and that's how the ASA saw it - having rejected