UK Gambling Brand Paid Blogs to Promote Online Casino Games for Mothers: Report

UK Gambling Brand Paid Blogs to Promote Online Casino Games for Mothers: Report

Coral, one of the UK’s top gambling brands, is under fire for reportedly paying parenting bloggers to promote its online casino games, The Guardian reports.

The bloggers were allegedly instructed to plug the games and include links to the Coral website. 

Critics have slammed the move as predatory, citing concerns over mental health and addiction. While Coral has stated that it will attempt to remove the posts, they were still spotted online recently, according to reports. 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines say that gambling promotions cannot be socially irresponsible, must not be marketed as a solution to financial or emotional difficulties, and must be portrayed as without risks.

Predatory Gambling Ad Spotted on Mother Care Site

The Guardian reports that this issue came to light after a blog post suggested that online bingo could be a helpful stress reliever for new mothers. 

The post spotted reads, “If as a mum you can’t leave the house, then why not consider bingo online? You can click here to play Bingo online at Coral – this momentary break from childcare can prove beneficial.” The ASA has cautioned against ads that suggest gambling can alleviate feelings of loneliness or depression.

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Coral’s blogger compensation controversy underscores a broader debate around responsible gambling. Critics argue that companies must safeguard vulnerable individuals and promote healthy habits.

Current Efforts for Legislation

The rise of the online gaming industry in the UK has led to concerns about problem gambling and its impact on users. The 2005 Gambling Act, which relaxed advertising regulations for gambling firms, has been blamed for contributing to this problem.

Bloomberg explains that the lack of regulation for remote operators selling to British customers until 2014 allowed betting firms to develop addictive games that catered to customers’ gambling tendencies. 

Additionally, the proliferation of smartphones enabled these firms to reach a new market of players constantly connected to their devices, making it easier for people to develop gambling addictions.

A House of Lords report, which highlights the increasing prevalence of problem gambling in the UK, reveals that problem gambling affects one-third of a million people. The report also highlights the devastating impact that problem gambling can have, with one problem gambler committing suicide every day on average.

Mental Health Groups Slam Gambling Ads

The Guardian also reports that the National Problem Gambling Clinic and NHS England have criticized Coral’s tactics, as they take advantage of people who may already be suffering from stress, sleep deprivation, and other issues. 

Gambling can exacerbate these issues and lead to even more problems, which is why critics say Coral’s actions are troubling. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, founder and director of the clinic, has said that gambling is not a way to escape psychological distress and that Coral’s actions encourage people to take up gambling for the first time.

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Related Article: UK Government Proposes Stricter Customer Checks to Tackle Problematic Online Mobile Gambling


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