Superstitions can play a vital role in breaking or making a gambler. In fact, the infamous "gambler’s fallacy" is built on the idea that you can somehow influence chance and make fortune work in your favor. However, the evidence to back this claim is just lacking and now, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the United Kingdom wants online casinos to stop preying on people’s fascination with good luck charms and small rituals, games of hot and cold, and so on.
The regulator has acted against various companies, one of which was the respected PlayOJO brand which potentially made a faux pas after it wrote that gamblers have a "unique chance to see the games on winning streaks." The issue ASA found with the website went further, with PlayOJO vowing to update the most and least winning games every hour.
However, this may not be possible and the suggestion that a player can participate in "hot games," i.e. games that are soon to start paying out more, was not entirely objective, the regulator argued in a document seen by The Guardian. There is no way to wait for a game based on Random Number Generator (RNG) to become hot, ASA says, although this may apply to games of blackjack in physical casinos.
ASA took issue with this particular form of advertisement of PlayOJO which has been removed ever since, but it also seemed to appear in a TV spot, The Guardian reported. PlayOJO told the media that the regulator had asked it not to take any particular action against its advertisement or marketing. However, PlayOJO acknowledged that it had acted preemptively to not give any reasons for concerns.
ASA is fairly certain that it will dub the advertisement as irresponsible and misleading, but a final decision is still being worked on. According to the regulator, PlayOJO’s marketing strategy somehow suggested that players may have control over complete games of chance, which is precisely the issue.
Should this ruling be confirmed, this means that online casinos and betting sites in the United Kingdom would have to vow an even more careful approach towards gambling and the way they present it to people. In other words, any suggestion that luck can be influenced would no longer be allowed. It’s a huge change as it would completely juggle marketing across the board and present affiliates and gambling brands with a new set of challenges and careful rewording of their language.
Finally, The Guardian suggests that even though ASA seems unsatisfied with certain elements of the marketing strategy that rely on "superstitions" there is not yet a definitive course of action against this type of promotion.
Image credit: Unsplash.com