The UK Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that online casino gambling company Casumo was in break of UK rules following a complaint about an advertisement dated May 2019.
The complaint concerned a Google sponsored search result for the Casumo gambling app, that came up whenever anyone entered the phrase ‘how to unsubscribe from all gambling’ into the search engine. The ad highlighted that Casumo was offering a 100% Welcome Bonus for all new players and urged new customers to set up an account with Casumo, and the ASA received a complaint that this advertisement was irresponsibly targeted at gamblers who were attempting to self-exclude.
In their response, Casumo said that before the complaint had come to light, ads placed on Google were focused on searches for the words ‘gambling’ and ‘gambling sites’. The company said that they had a list of excluded words or phrases to ensure that their ads would not be triggered when those words were input in a search engine, but that the precise combination of words in this case had not been anticipated, as the word ‘unsubscribe’ had not been associated with gambling.
The ASA acknowledged that Casumo had taken action as soon as the complaint was received, but that there had been a strong possibility that individuals seeking to self-exclude had been exposed to gambling adverts, and that the company was in breach of CAP Code Rule 16.1. The company was warned that the advert should not appear again in the form that caused the complaint, and they were also reminded of the importance of ensuring that all Google-related ads were responsibly targeted.
This is not the first time that Casumo has fallen foul of UK regulations. In May 2018, their licence was reviewed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and they were fined £5.85 million for failures relating to anti money-laundering policies.