Gaming Advertising Adressed in Online Casino Bill
One of the concerns of opponents of regulated online casinos was addressed last week during the markup of Barney Frank's bill in the House Financial Services Committee. An amendment was added to the legislation to regulate advertising for the online gambling industry as well as operations.
The proposal came from Democratic Representative Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio. Kilroy said her amendment would give the Department of the Treasury the power to control "inappropriate advertising practices."
While that broad term will need defining and fine-tuning, the examples set by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK will certainly be used as models of proper restriction. Advertising is limited both to the content and exposure received, primarily to protect children and compulsive gamblers from being tempted by marketing ploys.
The ASA has had complaints about overly severe enforcement, including a refusal to permit ads clearly designed humorously and tongue-in-cheek. Also, even a single complaint from amongst the entire UK population has been enough to force withdrawal of some Internet gambling advertisements.
Still, the UK program has generally been successful, preventing ads that use child-friendly images and others that make winning at gaming seem highly likely or with odds misrepresented.
The Kilroy amendment easily passed the committee vote, even drawing foes of the bil such as Spencer Bachus to praise efforts to make the Frank measure a better and safer bill.
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