UK advertising watchdog scolds Bwin, Betway for ‘misleading’ promotions

Online gambling operators and Betway received an earful from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the “misleading” advertisements that the two companies produced early this year.

UK advertising watchdog scolds Bwin, Betway for ‘misleading’ promotionsBack in March, Bwin ran a page that offered a £30 welcome bonus for players who would register and add at least £10 into their accounts. The ASA, however, ruled that the promotion was misleading because it had failed to make it clear the customers will only get the full bonus when they wagered six times their original deposit.

According to ASA, the complainant deposited £17 but was told that they needed to wager £102 to get the bonus of £17.

Under the promotion, Bwin players must wager the sum of the bonus amount and the first deposit amount three times before receiving the bonus, which is released in two installments. First is after the bonus and the first deposit amount has been wagered 1.5 times, to be followed by the second installment after the bonus and first deposit amount has been wagered a further 1.5 times.

Bwin indicated the bonus offer was subject to terms and conditions, which was located below the promotion. However, the ASA ruled that the conditions should be “clearly stated” in the main body of the ad, not just in the terms and conditions section.

“The text ‘Receive your Welcome Bonus’ emphasized the impression that the bonus amount would be received immediately and we considered that the average consumer would expect to be able to bet with it straight away,” the advertising watchdog said in its ruling, ordering Bwin’s operational arm, ElectraWorks Ltd., to make sure the future ads will clearly state the wagering requirements for promotions.

Meanwhile, Betway also a severe scolding from ASA for its advertisement that offered a £30 free wager for football betting. In June, the site ran a promotion offering the bonus to new customers who meet the minimum deposit of £10+.

The complainant, however, claimed that the site did not made it clear that customers had to deposit the same amount to obtain the free £30 bet.

Betway conceded that the complaint had merit, admitting that significant conditions quoted within the ad omitted that it was for a 100 percent matched free bet based on the amount of a new customer’s first deposit.

Still, the online gambling operator didn’t get off easy. The ASA ruled that the text was “misleading” and told Betway to ensure that future ads for free bets must be clear if the free bet amount on offer was matched to the amount deposited by customers.