Bingo has always been a popular game in the UK, so there was never much need to aggressively promote it online through advertising. Players have wholeheartedly embraced the transition from land-based venues to their online counterparts and this trend is still going strong. However, in recent months there has been a surge in the number of online bingo ads encouraging players to give the game a try. This trend could end abruptly, as regulators consider a carpet ban of gambling ads.
The perfect environment to advertise
The Internet is the preferred place for people to find sites online using comparison sites like bingosites.com and many operators run TV ads, as this is the fastest and most effective way of reaching the target audience. There are plenty of people still watching television programs, so gambling companies can’t ignore this slice of the pie either. Given the diverse background of bingo players and the game’s appeal among both men and women, TV ads have flourished. Lawmakers are concerned that these campaigns have become too aggressive and plan on reducing their impact.
A growing number of MPs are supporting bills that would partially or totally ban gambling ads from television. Bingo isn’t exactly the target the game, since this is regarded as one of the harmless forms of gambling. In the early stages, the focus is on reducing the impact of traditional casino and sports betting ads, but bingo is still in their crosshairs. Fans of the games should keep a close eye on what happens to other ads, since the advertising ban could eventually affect bingo operators as well.
Who are bingo ads targeting?
As mentioned above, the pool of bingo players is extremely diverse and this is one of the most popular games among women. Some bingo operators channel all their resources in this direction and have crafted websites that are colorful and women-friendly. A quick glance at the bingo ads currently running on TV, will highlight the fact that the female audience enjoys a lot of attention. The elderly are also avid players and the marketing campaigns don’t exclude them either, even though only a fraction plays online.
One of the concerns of lawmakers is that the ads might reach and negatively impact the younger audiences. Children and people under 18 years old are likely to stumble upon gambling ads and feel encouraged to try the games. Even a harmless game of bingo can only be played by adults, so the ads promoting it shouldn’t be viewed by minors. Given the risks of repeated exposure to advertising, some lawmakers contemplate the possibility of banning bingo ads altogether.
A blow for the gaming industry
The UK GC is the regulatory body that maintains fairness, transparency and keeps the UK gambling industry healthy. The Commission discusses the sensitive issues with the involved parties and tries to come up with mutually beneficial solutions. Not surprisingly, the prospect of a carpet ban on gambling ads, bingo included is frightening for online operators. The good news is that bingo ads won’t be banned completely from TV, at least not in a distant future, but their frequency will likely be reduced.