Over the years we have seen many gambling brands get a slap on the virtual wrist by the Advertisting Standards Authority but it’s rare to see a brand fined.
However, as published on the Gambling Commission website on 2nd May, bgo was recently fined £300,000 for misleading advertising!
bgo And Some Affiliates In The Wrong
This is the first ever financial penalty imposed by the Gambling Commission and the fault lay with the company involved and three of its affiliates.
In July 2015 concerns were raised about this company and their advertising and an investigation was launched. This found the following:
- Misleading adverts for promotions were published on site and by the brand affiliates.
- Timely action was not instigated by the company to address the misleading adverts.
- They stated that the issues had been addressed when they had not.
Notice To bgo
On 23rd September 2016 the company were informed that there was to be a review of their operating licence by the Gambling Commission.
The Commission found several breaches of the new CAP and BCAP codes that had been introduced in May 2015. bgo commissioned a Copy Advice Audit from CAP in May 2016 but despite being provided with several recommendations for change, chose not to initially follow these.
It wasn’t until July 2016 that the recommended changes were implemented. The Commission found further breaches on third party affiliate sites with regards to bgo.
The company was issued with a formal warning and a financial penalty of £300,000 was imposed. The warning will remain on the file for bgo and will be taken into account if there are any further issues with the operator.
What Did They Do Wrong?
You can read the full Decision Notice for bgo here but from what we understand, the issues seem to have been around the advertising of special offers.
It would appear that the company omitted significant limitations and qualification from their advertising.
Who will be next?