The authority’s decision comes amidst growing concerns about the potential influence of gambling advertisements on vulnerable individuals, particularly the country’s youth. Despite bet365’s recent controversies, the ASA found the operator innocent this time, noting that boxing primarily appealed to mature audiences and Eubank Jr.’s followers largely consisted of individuals over 18.
The Operator Did Nothing Wrong
According to UK regulations, operators are explicitly prohibited from launching marketing campaigns featuring athletes with a significant appeal to young people. The ASA categorizes sports personalities based on their potential risk, providing a guideline for sportsbooks. Despite the regulator’s robust suite of measures, a recent tweet by bet365 prompted the authority to launch an official investigation.
It’s fight week! Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will be Unleashed in Manchester. Click here for latest odds.
bet365 promotional tweet
The authority quickly dismissed the youth advertising allegations, agreeing with bet365’s data. The operator noted that boxing was inherently more appealing to mature audiences, sharing information on Chris Eubank Jr.’s viewing figures and social media presence. Its cooperation with the ASA significantly contributed to the swift resolution of the case.
Official statistics indicate that only 0.5% of Eubank Jr.’s YouTube viewers were under 18, and the majority fell between 25 and 44. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram follow similar trends, sitting at 0.1%, 0.3%, and 0.4% of underage followers. While the youth-orientated platform TikTok recorded a significantly higher 31.7%, bet365 maintains no official channel there and does not post promotional content.
Marketing Violations Remain Common
The ASA’s ruling emphasizes the need to carefully assess each case and consider its impact on the intended audience. The authority remains committed to protecting vulnerable individuals, particularly young people, from the potential harms associated with marketing regulations by operators. Operator Kwiff recently learned that lesson the hard way, receiving a sanction for underage marketing.
While bet365 is innocent regarding this case, the operator has its fair share of controversies. Last month the company received a hefty fine in the Netherlands for using 23 athletes’ images and names without permission. In March, the same regulator also sanctioned the operator €400,000 ($373,600) for advertising to young adults.
The gambling industry is responsible for promoting responsible gambling practices and ensuring their advertisements adhere to regulatory guidelines. However, operators frequently miss the mark, necessitating regulatory intervention. bet365’s most recent case demonstrated its compliance with current standards, but the ASA needs to remain vigilant, prioritizing public safety above all else.