Online sports betting company Coral is under fire for its allegedly “predatory” tactic to increase its signups. The leading gambling brand in the UK reportedly paid blogs advising new mothers to endorse its online casino games.
According to The Guardian, Coral paid parenting bloggers to embed links to its website in articles that present tips to new or first-time moms on how to relieve stress while caring for their newborns.
The news outlet called out the different blog posts that straightforwardly advertise and persuade moms to gamble online or play any of the company’s casino games.
“If as a mum you can’t leave the house, then why not consider bingo online?” read a portion of one post. “You can click here to play Bingo online at Coral — this momentary break from childcare can prove beneficial.”
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity told the outlet that the bloggers admitted to getting paid to include the links in their posts advertising Coral’s platform and games.
After getting called out, Coral issued a statement last Tuesday, saying it would take down all of the blog posts as soon as possible. However, the posts remained live over the weekend.
A spokesperson also defended the brand by saying that neither Coral nor its parent company, Entain, “actively targets young mothers or any other potentially vulnerable group through the use of affiliate marketing.”
The spokesman insisted that the company could not “prevent third parties from linking to our gaming sites.”
Entain also claimed that the links did not provide them with any search engine benefits in response to the source’s claim that the tactic was aimed at manipulating Google’s search results to their advantage.