An outdoor advertisement for 888casino reads "Your bus is now a casino".

Why we reported 888casino to the ad regulator

Adfree Cities, Gambling With Lives and Coalition Against Gambling Ads have submitted a joint complaint to the ad watchdog over ads seen in Bristol and London for 888casino, an online gambling site.

The Bristol ad, located in the busy Broadmead shopping district, features the words “Your bus is now a casino” prominently whilst the London Tube ad reads “This carriage is now a casino” in similarly prominent letters. In response to an immediate backlash, 888casino has taken down some of the ads as seen on the Transport for London network, however, the ads remain on display outside London.

Out of control

The ads appear in outdoor locations and consequently 888casino has no control over who sees them. The outdoor advertising industry estimates that 95% of the UK population is exposed to outdoor advertising on a regular basis. The audience for the 888casino ads is therefore as likely to be a person at heightened risk of harm, such as a child, as it is to be an adult. The audience could also include people who are already being harmed by gambling and people who are in recovery from gambling addiction.

By using urgent language that encourages action without reflection, and by compelling the viewer to detach from their surroundings to engage in gambling (i.e. to forget that they are on a bus or train and instead believe themselves to be in a casino) the ads risk promoting and perpetuating behaviours associated with gambling addiction, a rapidly growing problem across the UK.

Get involved

You can take part in the complaint to the ASA by using our simple template complaint. Simply download below and follow the instructions to tell the ASA what you think. Gambling ads have no place on our streets.

Don’t forget to tell us if you submit a complaint. Drop us an email at hello[at]adfreecities.org.uk or find us on X and Instagram.

Local action

Dozens of local councils around the UK have passed motions to ban gambling ads on ad sites they own, such as bus stops. Bristol, Sheffield, Barnsley, Basingstoke, Hackney, Nottingham and Reading all have such policies. Could your local council be next?

Find out more about lobbying your council to introduce a more ethical advertising and sponsorship policy using our resources.

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