The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the United Kingdom has banned an email advertising campaign for Betfair Poker as it ruled that the ad encouraged underage gambling.
The ad in question featured Annette Obrestad, the 20 year old Swedish “wunderkind” who was the winner of the World Series of Poker Europe when she was only 18 years old. The ASA received many complaints about the e-mailed advertisement for Betfair and was totally against the text “online experience is measured in games, not years. Join the new breed. Annette_15”. It was felt that most people would not know that her user name online is Annette_15 and it would be presumed that Betfair is using under-aged girls in order to push their product and that this would encourage young people to gamble.
The Advertising Standards Authority’s code clearly states that no one under the age of 25 is allowed to be featured gambling in a marketing communication or play a significant role therein.
Betfair denied that Obrestad was featured in the ad because of her young age and stated that it was only because of her standing as a poker champion and professional that she had been chosen.