Gala Interactive fell foul of UK advertising rules over an ad for its Gala Bingo brand.
The advert, which was seen on online on 22 May 2017, was in the form of a news story that suggested gambling could help depression, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said.
Upholding a second issue, the ASA also deemed it as “fake news”, thus making its commercial intent unclear.
During the investigation, Gala Interactive objected that the ad was not produced by the company itself, but by an affiliate.
The authority nevertheless pressed on with the two charges, explaining that Gala Interactive that was the beneficiary of the marketing material, and as a result ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.
In a statement, the ASA said: “Because we considered that the ad suggested gambling could provide an escape from personal problems such as depression and that it could be a solution to financial concerns, we considered it to be socially irresponsible and was therefore in breach of the code.”