The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against The A&S Leisure Group’s Napoleons Casinos, which challenged a perceived irresponsible nature of the website and social media post.
The website post in question, witnessed on August 16, 2021, at napoleons-casinos.co.uk, stated on the home page “enjoy unlimited gambling in all of our Napoleons Casinos …”.
Furthermore, a post on Napoleons Casinos Facebook page from the same day read ‘Napoleons Casino & Restaurant…unlimited gaming entry into prize draws access to all our UK branches’.
Finally, one complainant also raised an issue with the FAQ page of the website which, under the heading ‘What are the benefits of becoming a member?’ stated ‘If you produce appropriate ID you will have access to unrestricted gambling …’.
The complainant challenged whether the claims ‘unlimited gambling’ and ‘unlimited gaming’ were socially irresponsible, with the ASA itself looking into whether the wording of ‘unrestricted gambling’ was also irresponsible.
In its response, the company said that they had decided some time ago that the claim ‘unlimited gambling’ could be misconstrued and so decided to use ‘unrestricted gambling’” instead, and changed all their advertising accordingly. However, it was added that some instances were missed.
Furthermore, Napoleons Casinos also said that they would remove any reference to either ‘unlimited’ or ‘unrestricted’ gambling on all of their web pages and social media, and that they would not appear in any of their marketing material in future.
The group also pointed to money laundering regulations that it is governed under, and via which consumers could enter their casinos as visitors without identification or as ‘full members’.
This sees visitors have a limit set on how much they could spend on gaming tables and slot machines as well as cash out, however, these did not apply to full members, hence the term.
Despite acknowledging the aforementioned money laundering regulations, the ASA said that it “considered that most consumers would be unaware that the claim ‘unlimited gambling’ referred specifically to those limits set by the regulations”.
The self-regulatory organisation added that terms such as “unlimited gambling” and “unlimited gaming” gave the impression that consumers could gamble without limits or restrictions, therefore giving an impression of condoning or encouraging irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.
Moreover, the ASA added that “we noted that Napoleons Casinos had changed their advertising to refer to ‘unrestricted gambling’ instead of ‘unlimited gambling’ to avoid the claim being misconstrued and to clarify the meaning.
“However, we considered that ‘unrestricted gambling’ would have the same meaning to consumers as ‘unlimited gambling’ and created the same impression that Napoleons Casinos had no limits or restrictions on the amount of time or money that consumers were able to spend in their casinos.”
The ads must not appear again in the form complained of, with Napoleons Casinos also reminded to ensure that in future their ads did not create the impression that consumers could gamble without limits or restrictions.