UKGC gets tough on Advertising standards fining BGO £300,000 for misleading affiliate promotions

Updating the market, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned industry stakeholders that its body will not tolerate advertising falling ‘foul of social responsibility rules or deceiving consumers’.

Stating its intent to improve industry advertising and promotional standards, the UKGC has imposed a £300,000 penalty on igaming operator BGO Entertainment Ltd (BGO) for misleading advertising on its own portal and three affiliate partner website.

The Commission informs that since May 2015, the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) has required all licensed gambling operators to include in their advertisements any significant limitations relating to promotions, to avoid misleading consumers.

With regards to BGO’s penalty, the UKGC had reviewed the operators advertising campaigns since July 2015, with its investigation established that:

  • BGO and its affiliates published misleading advertisements for promotions
  • BGO did not take timely and effective action to address the misleading advertisements
  • BGO provided inaccurate assurances that the issues had been fully addressed

UKGC Programme Director Paul Hope commented on the update: “We want to make sure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly.

“So, we have made it clear to the industry that misleading advertising is a serious issue. We have powers to tackle it, including the power to impose financial penalties such as this.”

Closing its industry update, the Commission has worked closely with the Advertising Standards Authority to raise standards in this area, warning all industry stakeholders to read the decision notice which sets out the findings and emphasises the importance of advertising rules, guidelines, codes and standards.

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