Australian Government Hands Out Penalties to Gambling Advertising Scofflaws
Earlier this week, Ladbrokes and Sportsbet (an offshoot of Paddy Power) were spanked by government agencies for advertisements that were either offensive, or simply didn’t live up to regulatory standards.
Ladbrokes Digital Australia ran afoul of the New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing’s (OLGR) rules on offering credit to punters.
According the OLGR, Ladbrokes ran several ads last spring offered new and existing players an opportunity to win $1,000 in free bets. That doesn’t sound like they’re offering credit to us, but that’s what the Government of New South Wales calls, “illegal inducements to betting.”
Ladbrokes is not, however, the only sports betting operator to run afoul of New South Wales’ wrath. Sportsbet, an offshoot of Paddy Power, recently had one their advertisements pulled because its message was, “…undermining safe sun behaviour and trivialising sunburn.”
The ad in question featured a man with a sun burned face saying, “Don’t worry that’s only second degree, spring it on!”
While the intent of the ad was clearly humorous, that’s not how one anonymous melanoma (skin cancer) survivor saw it. In the unsigned complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau the complainant said:
I’m a Melanoma survivor and I find it offensive that this ad make’s fun at such at such a severe sunburn.
In their response, Sportsbet officials said their ad copy:
…does not in any way suggest that this scenario should be transferred into real life or that people should not take sunburn seriously
Though the ad in question has been retired permanently, so skin cancer survivors and people who lack a sense of humor, can rest easy.