Online Casino Karamba.com has been reprimanded, after two complaints were levelled at a web page relating to its online slot Starburst, rules the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Underneath an initial heading of “Tips and tricks on how to Win at Starburst,” the page went on to ponder how you can maximise wins and if you can influence your luck, before asking readers to continue on for “the top tips and tricks”.
Below a further title, “The Starburst Strategy,” the web page stated “the top 5 tips for winning,” before going on to feature a number of different hints, including chances of winning are higher by increasing bet rates and playing at off-peak times.
Furthermore it was also detailed that the text included a link to a different web page, titled “How to Choose a Winning Slot Machine” with further tips on increasing the chances of winning slot games.
Raising two issues, one complainant challenged whether the web page:
- Misleadingly implied that particular strategies would increase the chances of winning.
- Was socially irresponsible because it encouraged gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
Responding AG Communications, which operates the games on the website, stated that the web pages were uploaded by human error, with its usual internal procedures of approval to ensure compliance with regulations, nor training regarding marketing guidelines, not followed by the personnel responsible for claims in the ad.
Also stressing the low levels of user traffic attracted, Karamba emphasised that it had withdrawn the ads, commenced a full internal review and reiterated approval procedures to staff.
Making its assessment, the ASA stated that consumer would understand certain words and phrases used to mean that chances of winning would be significantly improved.
Before stating: “We considered that the claims on the website which suggested that placing higher bets increased the chances of winning, that a consumer’s luck could change if they had not been winning, and that other strategies could improve the chances of winning, condoned and encouraged irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible and was in breach of the Code.”
Making its final assessment, the ASA explained: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Karamba.com to ensure their future marketing communications contained nothing that was likely to encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
“Additionally, future marketing communications must not misleadingly imply that particular strategies improved a consumer’s chances of winning Starburst when that was not the case, and Karamaba.com must hold adequate substantiation in support of such claims.”