Complaints Against Gala and 888 Upheld by the ASA

Earlier in the month the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) made two new adjudications. One was against Gala bingo and 888.com. The ASA is independent of the government and the advertising industry and is recognized by the courts and other regulators such as the Office of Fair Trading.  The ASA handles consumer complaints and in a couple of cases ads have been banned after a single complaint. On their official website the ASA says that they are “here to make sure all advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.”

One complaint was received about an email sent by 888.com. The email stated “Inside: NO DEPOSIT BONUS & Amazing offers …” Text inside stated “NO Deposit Bonus – 888.com has opened you a Casino-on-Net account with free £10 in it! No registration – No deposit – No strings attached … Go to your [provider] email account – Open your Casino-on-Net password email – Download & start playing – Enjoy your free £10.” The complainant had issues with the ad after they gambled the free £10 and winning £10.70 they were unable to withdraw their winnings because of minimal withdrawal amounts set by 888.com. 888 countered and said that their withdrawal policy clearly states that the minimum withdrawal amount is £30. The ASA said that the “No deposit, No strings attached” was misleading and could cause players to believe they could withdraw their winnings without placing further wagers. The ASA said that the minimum withdrawal amount should have been included in the advertisement.

The complaint against 888.com was upheld and breached the following CAP Codes;

3.1 – Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
3.3 – 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.
3.9 – Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.

The complaint against Gala bingo was similar to the one against 888. A similar promotional email was sent top registered players. The same issues applied and dealt with the terms and conditions surrounding the promotion. The complaint against Gala was upheld by the ASA.

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