Pool betting site risks ads that target the under-18s

Football pool betting site ThePool.com is courting controversy with a new campaign encouraging 16-year-olds to take part in pool betting.

ThePool.com’s communications director Andrew Lawford says the campaign will highlight the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, pool gambling is just as legal for 16-year-olds as having sex. The ads, created by thefamilylondon.com, break this week in lads’ magazines Zoo and Nuts, and feature scantily clad girls with the word “banned” slapped over their breasts in “mock censorship”.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority has warned that advertising gambling directly to anyone under 18 directly contravenes the Committee of Advertiser’s code of practice.

The charity GamCare, which works to develop a responsible approach to gambling, has also stressed that adolescents are more likely to develop a problem with gambling, and recommends not advertising to anyone under 18. And Camelot also stresses that its policy is not to advertise to the age group.

Pool betting involves pooling the stakes, deducting a proportion to cover the operator’s expenses, tax and profits, and sharing the prize pool among the winners.

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