Denmark’s new gaming advertising board has decided to uphold a complaint about a Christmas ad for Mr Green.
Denmark.- Spilreklamenævnet, the new industry advertising board by operators in the Danish gambling market, has come to a decision over a Mr Green Christmas ad shown in December last year. The body has accepted a complaint made against the ad for William Hill’s popular online casino brand.
The ad in question was shown just before a popular TV2 festive family entertainment programme, Juleønsket. Under the Danish Gaming Act, the marketing of games to young people under the age of 18 “through the choice of media or the context” is prohibited.
Spilreklamenævnet voted four to one to support the complaint, although it recognised that the operator was informed by TV2 that the air time being purchased fit into the 18+ and 21+ age categories.
The board said in a statement: “In this case, the gaming provider has not ensured that the gaming advertisement was not aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, and therefore we find that the marketing initiative was in breach of the rules on marketing in the Gaming Act and in the code of conduct for the gaming industry.”
Board members Thomas Marcussen, Lars Pynt Andersen, Kate Jacquerot and Jacob Scherfig agreed with the complaint that adverts shown in the slot that caused the complaint “must essentially be aimed at children and young people under the age of 18”.
They said: “It is the gaming provider’s responsibility to ensure gambling advertisements are not aimed at audiences under the age of 18. It is not sufficient to enter into an exposure agreement alone in the age category 18+ or 21+.
“As the defendant did not ensure that the gaming advertisement was not aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, we find that the marketing initiative was in violation of the rules on marketing in the Gaming Act and in the Code of Conduct for the Gaming Industry. We therefore vote in favour of the board expressing criticism of this.”
The one member that voted against accepting the complaint was Morten Rønde. He said: “I find that the defendant could not have foreseen – and that the defendant thus does not bear the responsibility for – the advertisement being shown immediately prior to Juleønsket.”
It’s another slap on the wrists for Mr Green after the Swedish national gambling regulator Spelinspektionen issued two warnings and penalty fees against the operator for breaches of know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and responsible gambling rules.
Mr Green belongs to Caesar Entertainment’s William Hill. The US casino giant has agreed to sell the European division to 888 Holdings for £2.2bn.