Broadway’s ‘Rehab Bingo’ rapped by ASA

14 March 2018

The UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled against Broadway Gaming in a case relating to its ‘Rehab Bingo’ brand.

Following a single complaint, the ASA challenged whether the name Rehab Bingo “condoned socially irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm”.

The ASA also looked at whether the brand Rehab Bingo suggests that “gambling could provide an escape from personal problems”.

Rehab Bingo was launched by the Rehab Group Charity to fundraise for its own activities.

In its assessment, the ASA cited the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code that states ads must not condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible of could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.

The name Rehab Bingo appeared throughout the brand’s site, RehabBingo.co.uk, while a paid-for search advert on Google also stated ‘Join Official Rehab Bingo Now’.

The ASA acknowledged Rehab Bingo was launched by a charity to raise funds, and the term ‘rehab’ was linked with treatment and care to help those suffering from physical or mental illnesses.

However, to use the term ‘rehab’ in the context of gambling, where players are susceptible to addiction, was “socially irresponsible”.

In addition, the ASA ruled that the term ‘Rehab Bingo’ suggested online bingo was a form of rehab that could be used to alleviate personal problems, thus placing both the brand and adverts in breach of the CAP Code.

As a result, the ASA ordered Broadway not to use the term ‘rehab’ in the context of gambling, and also ruled that the ads must not appear in their current form.

In December last year, Broadway was also fined £100,000 (€112,800/$139,500) for featuring “misleading advertisements” on five of its gambling sites, including Rehab Bingo.

Related article: Broadway Gaming fined £100,000 for ‘misleading’ ads