ASA supports online gambling review following pulled 22Bet ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has expressed support for the review of the Gambling Act, which was implemented 20 years ago following Google’s removal of 22Bet ads from YouTube.

A complaint was made to the Department of Internal Affairs by the Problem Gambling Foundation.

Featuring former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum, the ads encouraged viewers to sign up to an online betting site based in Cyprus.

The ad had been playing frequently on YouTube with many Kiwis taking to Reddit to complain about the “annoying” ad, with one commenter saying it felt like this was the only ad they were seeing on the video sharing site lately.

Hilary Souter, ASA Chief Executive says under the ASA’s process and principles of self-regulation, advertisers or media platforms may remove advertising that breaches the Advertising Standards Codes.

“We note the self-regulatory action Google has already undertaken to remove the 22Bet ads, as would be required in our process should the advertising be found to breach the Codes.”

She adds that the Department of Internal affairs is responsible for the Gambling Act and its enforcement and is a senior jurisdiction to the ASA.

“The ASA notes the Gambling Act came into force in 2003 and a Departmental review of online gambling commenced in 2019. The ASA supports a review to ensure the legislation is fit for purpose and able to deal with the breadth of media platforms that publish or broadcast advertisements targeting New Zealanders.”

A statement from Google said the multinational technology company supports responsible gambling advertising and complies wth gambling laws and industry standards.

“Google has strict policies that govern the kind of ads we allow on our platform. In this instance, we’ve found the ads that violate our policies and we have removed them.”

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