ASA's Gary Neville - Sky Bet ruling "a little surprising," says solicitor

Today's ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Sky Bet's use of Gary Neville in a promoted tweet has caught the attention of law firm, Poppleston Allen.

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Felix Faulkner, a solicitor at Poppleston Allen, shared his perspective on the matter in comments sent to Gambling Insider.

Faulkner stated: "The ruling that Gary Neville’s use in a Sky Bet tweet was irresponsible and not in line with the relevant CAP code is perhaps a little surprising as the ASA has taken a more lenient stance on the use of other long-retired footballers in gambling advertising. However, it appears to have been his social media presence that tipped the scales in this investigation."

This ruling is not an isolated incident but part of a larger trend. In the same vein, three other rulings in August, involving bet365, William Hill and Ladbrokes, were brought to the ASA's attention.

The ASA identified the ad for investigation based on information gathered by its Active Ad Monitoring system, which uses AI to proactively search for online ads that might breach advertising rules.

Faulkner added: "This suggests there will be no letup in the ASA's tough approach to ensuring gambling operators are compliant with the rules that came into place restricting the use of celebrities in gambling advertising late last year. Operators would be wise to take note of the fact that gambling would appear to be a high-priority area for the ASA and they should ensure that all of their ads are in line with the regulations."

Faulkner argued that the use of its selectively deployed AI-based system demonstrates that the ASA is actively enforcing compliance with gambling advertising regulations. This approach underscores that gambling remains a high-priority area for the ASA.

The ruling on Sky Bet is part of the ongoing vigilance in the gaming industry to uphold the rules and regulations governing advertising practices.

Faulkner concluded: "The way the investigation came to the ASA’s attention is also worth noting. It now appears that it is being even more proactive in making sure gambling operators are compliant by using its selectively deployed AI-based system to tackle gambling advertising.

"Operators would be wise to ensure that all their advertisements adhere to these regulations."

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