Online casino company 888.com to withdraw UK adverts


  • 3 min read
Online casino company 888.com to withdraw UK adverts

After facing criticism for their tone, 888.com, the online casino company, will pull advertisements from various locations, including London’s transportation network.

This move has sparked scrutiny towards Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, for permitting their display initially.

With the mayoral election looming, Susan Hall, Khan’s Conservative opponent, along with a prominent clinician and a group of peers, have questioned the decision by Transport for London (TfL) to accept the campaign, deeming it “baffling.”

Despite Khan’s promise in his 2021 manifesto to prohibit gambling ads on London’s transport network, TfL has continued to accept promotions from betting agencies and online casinos, pending an independent review on the connection between advertising and gambling-related harm.

In recent weeks, 888.com had launched a campaign across the London Underground, trains, and buses, featuring slogans like “This carriage is now a casino,” with some black cabs displaying “Fancy a spin?”

However, following inquiries from the Guardian, 888.com confirmed on Friday that they would withdraw some of the ads, without specifying which ones. They acknowledged that the ads “could be interpreted in a different manner to the brand position we aim for.”

This decision is believed to be a response to criticisms of the tone used in promoting online casino games, which are associated with higher rates of harm compared to other forms of gambling, as per NHS survey data.

TfL stated that the 888 ads complied with the advertising regulator’s broadcasting code and TfL’s own policies, emphasizing that the ads should not “trivialize gambling.”

Hall, Khan’s main rival in the mayoral race, expressed confusion over Khan’s inconsistency in ad approvals, questioning why adverts featuring cheese or strawberries and cream were banned while those promoting vaping and gambling were permitted.

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, overseeing the National Problem Gambling Clinic and a prominent expert on addiction, also criticized Khan after encountering one of the ads on the tube.


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