ASA Ruling Forces Rehab To Become Rosy Bingo
Bingo sites have been under the cosh lately. They've been forced to withdraw images that may appeal to children, change their no deposit bonuses and slap terms and conditions over anything and everything. Just when you think you've seen it all there comes more. This week, Rehab Bingo has been forced by Advertising Standards to change their name.
Rehab Bingo originally launched as an Irish brand in around 2005. As part of it's remit it aimed to raise funds for Ireland’s largest charity, The Rehab Group. Eventually the brand opened up to UK players and they even had Mary Byrne, from The X Factor, as a celebrity endoresement.
At the start of 2014 Rehab Bingo were taken over by Broadway Gaming. This led to the site eventually losing Mary and it becoming more of a Butlers Bingo clone. Whilst Rehab perhaps wasn't the most well known brand, at no stage during it's 13 years online has it's name been a problem.
On 14th March 2018, ASA published their report on two investigations regarding Rehab Bingo. They question whether the name "condoned socially irresponsible gambling behaviour that could lead to financial, social or emotional harm". In addition they raised the possibiliy that the brand "suggested that gambling could provide an escape from personal problems".
Doing A Bit For Charity, Mate
Broadway Gaming, the owners of Rehab Bingo, explained to ASA, how and why the Rehab brand was established. They reported that "a percentage of all funds raised from the website went towards funding for the registered charity". However, it's unclear to us whether that remained the case beyond the start of 2014 when the site was taken over by Broadway Gaming.
Perhaps the most telling element of Broadway Gaming's response to ASA is that they were "willing to change the name on request". This suggest to us that the name Rehab had been kept for historical reasons and that perhaps it's initial raison d'être had long since elapsed.
You Can't Call It Rehab Bingo, Baby! No! No! No
The ASA assessment of the situation acknowledged that Rehab Bingo was launched by the Rehab Group Charity to fundraise for their activities. However, they still ruled that Broadway Gaming could no longer use the term “Rehab” in the context of gambling. The reason for the ruling was that ASA believed the term "rehab" may imply that gambling could be a solution to financial concerns for those looking to escape personal problems!
There is logic in the ASA assessment, but it does seem to be a bit over the top. We do wonder whether anyone would genuinely consider that the site would be a "form of rehab that could be used to alleviate personal problems".
Everything Turns Out Rosy
The result of all the above is that Rehab Bingo has now been renamed to Rosy Bingo. Interestingly there's no reference to the site donating any of it's funds to the Rehab Group. If this charity fundraising did stop in 2015 then a name change is actually a logical step.
Ironically though the ASA ruling has led to Rehab Bingo making the news. Many onling gambling outlets have commented on it. For a brand that wasn't (in our view) doing particularly well the ASA ruling has probably helped Broadway Gaming launch their re-brand with minimal effort.
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