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Karamba ‘dismayed’ over ad error

| By iGB Editorial Team
Starburst ad branded “socially irresponsible” by complainant

Karamba has pledged to tighten up its marketing procedures after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned an advert published on its website.

Promoting the ‘Starburst’ slot game on Karamba.com, a platform operated by Aspire Global, the advert was entitled ‘Tips and tricks on how to win at Starburst’ and set out a so-called ‘Starburst Strategy’.

AG Communications, which operates as Karamba.com, said the offending pages were uploaded to the website in error and had not gone through the standard internal procedure to ensure they complied with regulations.

Although AG said the web pages in question attracted low levels of user traffic, it has taken the ads down from Karamba.com and opened a full internal review to address the issue.

In a statement released to iGamingBusiness.com, Karamba said it was “dismayed” to learn that the advert was published as a result of human error and added that the Karamba brand has a “strong focus” on regulation compliance.

“Karamba is a brand that operates under six different regulations with a strong focus on complying with the different regulatory guidelines and standards,” Karamba said.

“We were dismayed to learn that these ads were uploaded due to human error, insomuch that they did not go through our internal procedure for approval of marketing materials.

“Following this issue, of which there will not be a reoccurrence, we have tightened our procedures as well as undertaken additional measures to ensure all new marketing materials are fully compliant with the regulatory standards.”

A single complainant challenged the advert for being “socially irresponsible” as it “misleadingly implied” that certain strategies could lead to profit gain.

The complainant also said such strategies “encouraged gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm”.

The advert featured a series of suggestions as to how to play the game in order to win, setting out how “wins at the minimum bet rate are much less frequent and pay out significantly smaller sums”.

Other wording in the ad included “changing the cycle of the game to get back on the winning track by toggling the spin and max bet buttons. The bet rate will stay the same, but you may trigger more bonus features and, most importantly, wins”.

In its ruling, the ASA said the advert must not appear again in its current form.

The regulatory body has also spoken to Karamba to ensure future marketing communications contain nothing that is “likely to encourage irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm”.

The ASA’s sanction comes after the regulator told iGamingBusiness.com earlier this month that it is examining whether World Cup adverts by Bet365 and William Hill contravened new gambling guidelines.

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