Every Wednesday the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) publish their weekly rulings.
Over the last few months we have seen numerous gambling companies taken to task over the Terms and Conditions of various offers.
For the rulings of the 17th August, two gambling companies felt the wrath of the ASA, and both for very similar reasons.
Betway And The ASA
On 20th June 2016 a page on the Betway website showed text that offered a £30 free bet. The smaller text on the page showed a number of key terms including:
- New Customers Only
- Min. Deposit £10+ required
- Maximum Free Bet amount is £30
- Free Bet will be unlocked after original deposit is staked
- Additional Terms apply
There was one complaint about this offer and the challenge was the it was misleading because the complainant did not believe it was made clear that in order to receive the £30 free bet, a deposit of the same value was required.
It’s quite unusual to see a company put their hands up and say that a complaint has merit, but that’s exactly what Betway did.
They accepted fault stating that the advert omitted the fact that this was a 100% matched free bet based on the new customers first deposit.
They have since amended the advert so whilst the ASA upheld the complaint and found it in breach of CAP Codes 8.1, 8.17 and 8.17.1, the slap on the wrist was not a hard one.
Electraworks Ltd T/A bwin And The ASA
For bwin, the issue was pretty similar with one complaint being received about a £30 welcome bonus advertised on their own site in March of this year.
The complainant felt that the advert omitted significant terms and conditions and was misleading. They had deposited £17 and were informed that to release the bonus of £17, they had to wager £102.
Unlike Betway, ElectraWorks tried to defend their advert saying that the asterisk next to Receive Your Welcome Bonus on the page indicated that the offer was subject to terms and conditions.
The ASA however saw things differently and felt that, in fact, the Receive Your Welcome Bonus text emphasised the impression that the bonus amount would be released immediately.
The ad was found to be in breach of the following CAP Codes:
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means.
Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.
Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.
You can read the full adjudication here.