Electraworks, the online casino operator behind big names such as Party Casino and Bwin Casino, has been fined £350,000 by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for publishing misleading advertisements for free bonuses on its websites.
A complaint was raised with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) relating to an advertisement for a free bonus that appeared on the Bwin.com website in August 2016.
The advert breached the codes of both the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) relating to promotion of free bets, free bonuses and other similar offers.
Furthermore, the UKGC also issued a formal warning to Electraworks because the employee in the marketing division of their business does not hold a personal management license (PML).
People who hold senior positions within online gambling operator companies and are responsible for areas such as financial planning, regulatory compliance and gambling operations are required to have a PML.
Further advertisements on the bwin.com website were also found to be in breach of the CAP codes after the investigation into the original complaint was completed.
And later, seven further breaches of the codes were found at these Electraworks sites: casinoking.com, casinolasvegas.com, noblecasino.com, partycasino.com, partypoker.com and scasino.com
These articles were removed after Electraworks were informed.
Richard Watson, the UK GC 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.”
Regulation and compliance are big issues in the online gambling industry in 218 and the way in which operators advertise their promotions is coming under very close scrutiny.
In particular, Free Spins offers are being re-classified by many online casinos as Extra Spins, and terms are being adjusted to remove wagering requirements from winnings generated by the spins and also limits on how much a player can win with those spins.
In TheSlotBuzz guide to gambling laws and licensing in the UK you can read more about how the UK market is regulated.