Paddy Power, the largest Irish bookmaker with actual betting shops on high streets in Ireland and in the United Kingdom and with a wide ranging online gambling presence, has joined several other companies to voluntarily limit some advertisements. There will soon be changes to the licensing regulations for casino operators in the United Kingdom and the British gambling authorities will require all online operators offering their services to players in the United Kingdom to have a licence issued by the British Gambling Commission even if they already hold a gaming licence from a country that had featured on the previous British acceptable “White List”. Along with these new rules will come greater checking up of gambling advertising both online and offline.
Voluntary efforts to protect the vulnerable
The forthcoming changes to gambling regulations will only affect operators in the United Kingdom but even so, Paddy Power, which is licensed in both Ireland and the United Kingdom is to voluntarily agree along with Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and William Hill to not place ads on television channels encouraging people to sign up to their services before the 9pm watershed. The companies are also to give over about one fifth of the advertising space in their actual shop windows to notices encouraging responsible gambling. Another area of agreement is that the four gaming operators involved will not place ads in their shop windows for any gaming machines within the shops. The growth of fixed betting machines on British High Streets has been the subject of much debate recently with some groups seeking to ban these gaming machines.
Paddy Power’s Advertising Reputation
Sometimes advertising for online and land based gambling appears to attract negative attention due to the controversial nature of some of the themes involved. Paddy Power is well known for its risk taking advertisements. Many of these have been condemned as pushing the limits of what is acceptable. Paddy Power’s advertisement for betting on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in South Africa was a case in point. It is believed that the ad received the most complaints ever for an advertisement. At this year’s World Cup, Paddy Power had hoped to attract attention with a 1 million pound deal with the Uruguay player Luis Suarez but the deal was called off after the footballer’s “biting” incident.
Paddy Power’s Online Casino
Paddy Power’s online casino is licensed in The Isle of Man. So far it hasn’t been the subject of any controversial advertisements. The company’s online casino has been offering players over 300 games and slot machines since it was founded in 2004. The casino’s live dealer section has been running on Playtech software since 2013 and offers internet players live dealers hosting live games of roulette, blackjack, baccarat and Texas Hold’Em. The live casino games are streamed from a studio in Lithuania and feature professional female dealers.