An online ad launched by the popular Casumo online casino has recently been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The reason was that the ad targeted potential problem gamers.
According to the British Watchdog, the ad offers free spins for new players appeared in the search results of people who stop gambling. Namely, a user launched a specific complaint as early as May 2019, which prompted the ASA to act. According to this complaint, the ad that Freespins offers appeared in Google’s search results for “How to unsubscribe from all gambling.”
In particular, the listing was one of the paid ads they see over the organic generated results. And the title of the ad in question was “Welcome bonus for new players Casumo 100% and 20 Free Spins”. In addition, as so often before, people were encouraged to create accounts and start playing.
However, the online casino was quick to take the ad as soon as the ASA requested it. And it went on to explain that it could not possibly foresee any Google search term combination to prevent this situation.
The way in which Google Ads targeting works includes keywords. An algorithm determines when to display a particular ad based on the word or words present in a search request. But the opposite exclusion principle also applies to the targeting process. And according to Casumo’s explanation, the casino did not think it necessary to exclude the word “logout”. The rationale was that they saw this term as referring to the deselection of mailing lists, marketing e-mails, and the like Gambling addicts searching on Google.
Despite Casumo’s defense, the British regulator was quite determined in delivering its verdict. And it found that the gambling platform had failed to responsibly target their online ad. Indeed, the ASA saw a “strong possibility” for problem gamers to come across the ad. More worryingly, this could be just as they are trying to limit their exposure to gambling sites in general.
Also No First Offense
As it turns out, this would not be the first time for the online casino operator in ethical violation. Only last year, the British Gambling Commission forced Casumo to pay millions in fine for similar problems. Namely, the website had proved to be systematically failing to protect problem Online casinos gamers. And among other things, there was also the inability to prevent money laundering.
For example, one specific case involved blatantly ignoring the vivid symptoms of gambler’s gambling addiction. Allegedly, the casino has got one of its customers to bet and consequently lose about $ 125,000. And while this case is only at the level of allegations, other transgressions have been duly proven and made conspicuous in terms of consequences.
One such grave violation was offering gambling services to the citizens of the Netherlands, which happened earlier this year. And that cost Casumo a hefty fine of 310,000 euros to the Dutch gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).