Coral Allegedly Sponsored Parenting Blogs to Advertise Its Online Bingo and Casino Services to New Moms

Casino Guardian
 
Coral Allegedly Sponsored Parenting Blogs to Advertise Its Online Bingo and Casino Services to New Moms
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One of the leading gambling brands in the UK is facing allegations of paying blogs aimed at providing motherhood advice to new mothers to popularise its online casino games. The recommendations have been paired with a link to the company’s online gambling platform, in a move that some leading mental health and addiction experts have described as a predatory practice.

According to reports, the popular gambling and betting brand Coral inked deals with parenting bloggers to have links to their website embedded in posts offering tips aimed at new mothers. A source familiar with the matter revealed that Coral had paid the bloggers to embed the links in their articles in order to advertise the brand’s services to new moms.

One of the posts, which has been aimed at providing new mothers with baby food recipes, openly suggested to mums who are unable to leave the house to consider playing bingo online and even offered a direct hyperlink to the bingo options at Coral, implying that new mums could take a “momentary break from childcare” that could even turn out beneficial.

Another parenting blog recommended some “opulent games of online roulette” to new moms, with the promise these games were easy to learn and could provide excellent winnings.

Last but not least, three other parenting blogs published articles that also contained sentences and entire segments popularising online casino or bingo games, with direct links to the Coral website included.

Only one of the aforementioned blog posts disclosed that links to the Coral website that were embedded in the article were placed there as a result of a partnership or affiliate marketing agreement. For the time being, however, the blogs remain unnamed.

Entain Says Blog Articles Were Published Before Its Ladbrokes Coral Takeover Deal

Under the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), gambling adverts need to be in line with social responsibility rules, so presenting betting and gambling as a way to deal with depression, loneliness, or social isolation, is simply unacceptable.

Furthermore, the also requires companies to make sure they do not present gambling as a solution to the financial concerns of their users.

Reportedly, online bingo and casino games are usually more popular among women than sports betting which is traditionally preferred by male punters. In the last few years, major gambling companies have been trying to expand their customer base by targeting more women, who have historically been known as less avid gamblers than men.

The owner of the Coral brand – Entain – commented on the allegations, saying that the articles that featured links to the Coral online gambling platform had been published between 2014 and 2016, and that was before the company took over Ladbrokes Coral in 2018. Last week, it revealed that it would try to get the links taken down as soon as possible, but they were still live several days later, on May 14th. A spokesperson for Entain shared that none of the company’s brands actively targetted new mothers or any other group that is considered potentially vulnerable to gambling harm through the use of so-called affiliate marketing. The operator, however, noted that it was unable to prevent third parties from embedding links to its online gambling platforms.

The British gambling giant also denied that it made payments in return for the publications to any of the blogs in the provided examples. However, Entain failed to reveal whether such a practice has been previously adopted by Coral.

A person familiar with the situation, who once worked for a company that arranged affiliate marketing deals with bloggers, shared that employees of the Coral brand had not only read the articles but also approved them before they were published. The source also shared that the practice was mainly aimed at manipulating the search results of Google by creating an association between online bingo and casino games and female users.

Entain, however, denied the claims that the links provided it with any benefits when it came to search engine results.

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