Two ads for 32Red that appeared when people searched for Jack and the Beanstalk on Google have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for appealing to children.
The ad watchdog banned the paid-for Google search ads that appeared in April and were displayed when the term, which is also the name of one of 32Red's high-risk games, was searched.
The ASA said the position of the ads breached rules because Jack and the Beanstalk was a highly popular children’s fairytale and there was a strong possibility that this term would be put in by children or adults accompanied by a child.
32Red told the ASA that its Jack and the Beanstalk game was classified as high-risk, so could only be played by age-verified customers on its site. The company said the ads had appeared in error, that they were removed once they were brought to its attention and that it had put in place steps to ensure any high-risk games did not appear in keyword lists for ad-targeting in the future.
However, the watchdog said that because 32Red had not "specifically and carefully targeted" the ads, they had been directed at children under 18.
It said: "The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We told 32Red Ltd to ensure their gambling ads did not have particular appeal to those aged under 18 years of age and were not directed at those aged below 18 years of age."
A spokesman for Kindred, which owns 32Red, said: "We take a lot of care to make sure that games like this, which could appeal to under-18s, are not seen by people below that age.
"On this occasion, an error meant that it could be seen on a third-party website for a short period of time. We put this right as soon as we were alerted to it. We regret this happened and have taken steps to make sure this does not happen again. 32Red takes its responsibilities extremely seriously."