Regulations regarding marketing strategies and rules in the gambling industry in the UK are quite strict. No person under the age of 25 or who resembles as they may have less than 25 years may participate in gambling advertisements. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise to many that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) sustained a plaint that was received regarding the UK’s online gambling company, Betway.
Betway has hoped to go under the radar by posting a YouTube prank video implicitly stating that it should not be seen as an advertisement, rather as an educational video. Still, it seems that the ASA couldn’t disagree more with this saying since they have slammed the operator.
Declan Rice Car Prank Video
The video includes two West Ham footballers: Declan Rice and Mark Noble, and one actor who plays the role of a traffic cop. It has been present on YouTube since October 2019. The traffic cop puts a clamp on Declan’s car as part of a prank whilst constantly keeping in contact with Noble via the radio. Noble talks to the cop telling him lines in order to keep Rice agitated.
The YouTube video has been slammed by the ASA as an advertisement and not an education video since it contains a clear reference to betting, the “Heed Your Hunch” tagline within the video.
Additionally, Betway’s logo is on Noble’s shirt and at the end of the video, it is on full display alongside a message about responsibility to bet the responsible way. Betway is still claiming the video as educational since Rice isn’t shown in the sporting context but according to ACA, that doesn’t suffice to qualify as educational.
Therefore, considering the fact that Declan Rice is only 20 years old, this is a clear violation of the Committee of Advertising Practice Code and Betway has received a strong warning to carefully proceed with the following promotional videos and content.
Despite Betway’s claims of the video’s educational nature, they have privatised it on their YouTube channel and deleted the blog post about the prank from their site. Nevertheless, an article about the video still appears on West Ham’s site (as of January 9), although with the embedded video privatised:
A couple of years ago, golfer Jordan Spieth, at that moment, around 22-year-old has been used by numerous gambling companies in their promotional content. All of the operators have been punished for these actions. Last year, in August, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, a 19-year-old midfielder, was used by the Football Index as part of a Facebook promotion. The operator also received a fine for their actions.
It is evident that the regulations regarding portraying young individuals in promotional or any context regarding gambling is prohibited in most countries but operators keep on using them. The near future will definitely bring stricter regulations within the industry, so stay tuned for more news. Share your thoughts about the regulations in the comments section.
Betway Slammed for West Ham’s Declan Rice Car Prank Video