This just goes to show that, if you are an online gambling business and you make a serious mistake, there is no escape from the consequences, as has happened with ElectraWorks who have been fined £350,000 for making some erroneous moves in their advertising. How will this affect them and will it have lasting consequences in the rest of the online gambling industry? Will this set an example? Let's take a look at the facts and see.
So why was this highly respected online gambling company punished so heavily for its marketing? Well, according to the UKGC, which is the UK's number one gambling watchdog, ElectraWorks failed to comply with advertising regulations and repeatedly misled players with adverts relating to free bonuses. In addition to this, they received a written warning for failing to ensure the person in charge of marketing has a personal management license.
It all began in August 2016 when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint from consumers that ElectraWorks made an advert promising free bonuses to players only to fail to deliver on that. The site in question was www.bwin.com and the bonus in question breached several codes in the Committee of Advertising Practises (CAP) rule book. But that wasn't the last of it…
In addition to falsely advertising the nature of this online gambling bonus, little more than a week later ElectraWorks was called out yet again for another piece of false advertising. Fast forward to April 2017, the UKGC discovered six similar breaches of advertising standards among their other sites such as casinoking.com, casinolasvegas.com, noblecasino.com, partycasino.com, partypoker.com and scasino.com.
And yet again, in June and August 2017, further offences were discovered and ElectraWorks were finally punished for their misconduct. You couldn't say they weren't given enough warnings… Now they have got their fine over over £300,000 and we're sure they won't be making that mistake again in a hurry!
So what does this do for other casinos in the online gambling industry? Richard Watson, the UK Gambling Commission Programme Director, said: “This fine should serve a warning to all gambling businesses that we will not hesitate to take action against those who mislead consumers with bonus offers or fail to ensure they are correctly licensed.”
It is completely unfair for online gambling operators to take advantage of players by making false promises as this is not only bad business practices but it could potentially take advantage of vulnerable people too. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as well as the UK Gambling Commission have been working tirelessly to improve conditions for players in online gambling so they can have a better experience.
The CMA announced on 1st February 2018 that thee major leading operators have formally committed to the changes they have suggested and now offer bonus promotions to make sure players can access and release their own money. The UKGC has made clear that all firms should do the same to avoid receiving a fine as large as the one ElectraWorks got.