When it comes to regulating players and ensuring that under 18’s do not gamble at a site, there are many ways in which a brand verifies a players age and eligibility to place bets. This usually happens when a player makes a deposit. Casino Rewards (run by Apollo Entertainment Ltd), a loyalty scheme than encompasses many different casino brands, recently came under scrutiny by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following one complaint.
The complaint was made by the grandfather of a 14 year old who received marketing material sent by direct mail. Immediately this was potentially in breach of several CAP Codes, namely:
1.3 – that marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to both society and the consumer.
16.1 – that such communications for gambling brands must be socially responsible. That particular regard needs to be given to protecting children, young people and those that are vulnerable so that they are not harmed or exploited
16.3.13 – that marketing communications must not be directed to anyone who is below the age of 18.
The complaint was instantly dealt with by Casino Rewards who responded with a full explanation of how the direct mail had been sent to a 14 year old.
The person in question has created an account with one of their casinos but had listed their year of birth as 1981. No financial transactions had taken place so the age verification process required as part of the licence held by Apollo Entertainment was not undertaken.
The direct mail was sent in an effort to reactivate the user and it was this that had resulted in the mailer being received by a minor. Upon notification of the complaint, all necessary action had been taken to ensure the individual received no further correspondence.
The ASA acknowledged that there was no way that Apollo Entertainment could have known that the user was under the age of 18. It was accepted that Apollo Entertainment could only rely on the information provided by the account holder and as such, the complaint was not upheld.