This week the ASA upheld a ruling against A&S Leisure Group for advertising 'unlimited gambling' and 'unrestricted gambling' on the basis that the CAP Code states ads must not portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
No surprise there! The first thing that pops to my mind is, well that's daft, the biggest limit on gambling is the amount of cash in your pocket.
However, what is interesting, is that presumably after receiving the complaint about 'unlimited gambling', the ASA had obviously done some digging themselves. In an FAQ section on the website, they found the following:
“What are the benefits of becoming a Member?”
“If you produce appropriate ID you will have access to unrestricted gambling …”.
This was intended to refer to the casinos ability to allow consumers to enter casinos as visitors without identification or as 'full members’ who had produced valid identification under the Money Laundering Regulations. Full members do not have a limit set on how much they can spend on gaming tables and slot machines and how much they can cash out, hence the claim 'unrestricted gambling'.
Regardless of the justification, however, the ASA considered that it was a social irresponsible claim and said no dice.
My takeaway is beware of your FAQs.
We considered that the overall impression of the claims in ads (a), (b) and (c) was that consumers could gamble without limits or restrictions, and therefore condoned or encouraged consumers to engage in irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.