GwL launches petition and joint ASA complaint over harmful ads

Gambling with Lives has made a joint complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about ads by online gambling operator 888casino. We have also launched a petition calling for an end to all gambling advertising across London’s transport network.

Last week the 888 ads appeared on public transport networks up and down the country saying “Your bus is now a casino” and “This carriage is a now a casino”.

Thousands of people will have been exposed to them, including children on their way to school, people in recovery from gambling addiction, and families who have lost loved ones to gambling-related suicide.

The public backlash resulted in 888 agreeing to pull “certain adverts” but together with AdFree Cities and the Coalition Against Gambling Ads, we’ve submitted a joint complaint calling for all the ads to be removed and for this not to happen again.

888 is no stranger to controversy and has been fined by the Gambling Commission several times in recent years, including for allowing customers to lose huge amounts of money during the pandemic.

The language of their most recent ads clearly violates the ASA’s social responsibility rules, which state:

 “Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.” (CAP Code 16.1)

On the back of this, we’ve also launched a 38 Degrees petition calling on Transport for London to honour London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s 2021 pledge to remove all gambling ads from its network – please sign and share it.

We’ll let you know what the ASA’s response is, so keep an eye on your inbox and our social media channels.

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