Have you ever seen a gambling machine or web site that was all too conspicuously aimed at children? British regulators certainly have. The country’s Gambling Commission and advertising overseers have ordered over 450 gambling sites to “immediately” take away casino games they say saying} are targeting the under-18 crowd. The cartoonish graphics, cute characters and even game names (such as Piggy Payout) function gambling advertising that is “likely” to appeal to children, according to an official letter. And these are not simply free titles — bets vary as high as £600 (about $792), so this might be significantly damaging if a child got access.
The crackdown follows an investigation from the times that showed gambling sites taking advantage of a “loophole” they believed let them build child-oriented games without violating Gambling Commission rules. They used age verification checks for anyone who wished to play for cash, but you’ll play for free of charge without any kind of checks. and that is where the problem was — the free-to-play experience was effectively a sales talk, even if it had been just to sell young visitors on the concept of gambling.
Some within the industry have denied intentionally selling to children, but they do not all object. William Hill, one of the sites asked to take down some casino games, is welcoming the order. it isn’t hard to see why it would help within the long run. although this can remove more than some games, it could force gambling companies (including those beyond the UK) to mend their image by focusing their attention on adults. whatever short-term losses they face might be more than offset by the reduced amounts of legal scrutiny and bad press.