Marketing is a gateway that reveals the want or need of products and services. The ultimate scope of marketing is to sell, by attracting clients and retaining them as loyal brand ambassadors. If used well, the tool of marketing can convince the masses on how they should behave in their consumer habits.

If you think about marketing of the 21st century, the digital turn it has taken has allowed for huge portions of the globe to react to products and services in an instant. Whether you make use of such engagement tools or not is an entirely different discussion, but whether you think the practices are ethical is a conversation worth investing in. 

How do users react to offers? Simple – they love them. They latch on and make the most of the deal to stretch their spending. It’s a natural reaction. Ethics would never be brought up for a two-for-one deal on apples or football gear, but what about deals on alcohol, caffeine or sugar products? Is there an ethical obligation to make these items harder to purchase and eventually consume?

You could look at this in many different ways, with some opinions relying heavily on limit addiction access and others supporting the promote responsible consumption front. 

What about gambling?

Online casinos have unleashed an instant entertainment outlet offering a long list of activities where free play or play-to-win modes can be chosen. These activities sway from solo play video slot machines and table games, to competitive tournaments in eSports and live poker competitions with big cash payouts. 

During play-to-win gaming, casinos often offer a casino bonus to players, be they in the form of welcome offers, CRM activities, no-deposit bonuses or loyalty programmes – they’re great for the gamer and carry potential for retention or increased user activity for the casino. Every country seems to have its own favourite bonus. Finnish players, for instance, tend to favour extra benefits such as free spins and casino bonuses

It’s a win-win… right?

Marketing in the EU follows no law or regulation as a whole – every country is set up with its own player regulations and marketing guidelines that are being enforced across Europe with recent re-regulating measures. The UK, for example, has some of the strictest regulations that follow guidelines from the ASA. The ASA misleading marketing guidelines protects users from unclear or seemingly ‘trapping’ marketing techniques that stray away from responsible gaming approaches. 

On the other hand, Finland follows its own rules, allowing gamers to play in any online casino, with most of them providing casino bonuses. These casino bonuses can be found on various review sites such as Bonuskoodit.com that are highly accessible and easy to use.

This unlimited access provides users with a choice – to play or not to play. And while the iGaming industry is a money-making business, there are certain measures taken to ensure the safety and protection of its gamers. As the name suggests, and its history confirms, gaming is intended to be a fun pastime for gamers to enjoy alone or with friends – looking back to the time of Atari or arcade halls, gaming could be a solitary or collective event with the sole purpose of entertainment. 

Modern approaches to gaming have incorporated the aspect of gambling into the mix, an activity that some might think of as addictive. Those who have fallen into an addictive gambling routine, might hold the opinion that standards and regulations on ethical marketing need to be enforced to a higher degree. But on the contrary, those who gamble, win some and lose some, but stay ahead of the addicted path - in other words those who are using iGaming platforms responsibly - would encourage more bonuses to be shared at different onboarding stages of their gambling journey. 

At every stage of a gamer’s journey with an online casino, checks are made on the habits, behaviour and reactions of users. This data is what allows responsible gaming managers to create an ethical marketing environment for their users. If repetitive behaviour targets someone as a vulnerable gamer, action to guide users to safer habits is immediately taken. 

So the question still remains: are casino bonuses ethical marketing tools? Do casinos need to limit their bonus schemes, and marketing strategies affiliated with a campaign, or do users need to learn their limits and use gaming platforms as an entertainment outlet with additional perks of cash wins? 

Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk/  

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