The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has sanctioned the Annexio operated LottoGo.com, after upholding two issues raised as a result of text featured on the homepage of its site.
Listing various lotteries which users can bet on, text stated “MEGA MILLIONS £256 MILLION,” before detailing “How to win the Mega Millions Jackpot,” and going on to say “Mega Millions has an opening jackpot of $15 million with no cap. It makes the world’s biggest lottery winners!” further down the page.
One complainant, who understood that the prize amounts stated were subject to United States taxes and other deductions, challenged whether the ad was misleading, before the ASA also questioned its deceptive nature, by failing make clear that it was offering the opportunity to bet on the outcome of the lottery, rather than participate in it.
Responding LottoGo, who had undergone a trading name change from World Lottery Club during the course of the investigation, stated a number of alterations had been made on the advice of the Gambling Commission in 2016.
Adding that they did not believe it was misleading to advertise potential prize amounts pre-tax, due to not knowing the tax status of players located across a wide range of jurisdictions.
The firm also stated deductions were highlighted in terms and conditions, and that text featured on the website made it clear that consumers were betting on the outcome of a lottery as opposed to entering one.
Upholding both issues, the ASA emphasised that the ad didn’t make clear jackpot amounts could be subjected to significant deductions, and that consumers “were unlikely to understand from the ad as a whole that they were being offered the opportunity to bet on the outcome of a lottery via a gambling operator, rather than participate in the lottery itself”.
Concluding that the ad was misleading, action laid out by the ASA is stated as “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told LottoGo.com to make clear, as soon as prize funds were quoted, the extent to which winnings may be subjected to deductions. Furthermore, they must make clear that consumers were not being offered the opportunity to participate in a lottery, but to bet on its outcome”.
A further issue was brought before Rieves Lotteries Ltd, operators of a website promoting charity scratchcards, with it challenged that the graphical nature of the content would hold a particular appeal to children.
Responding, Rieves pointed to its reference only purpose, with the generic animated stock imagery used to reflect season and character, whilst also ensuring customers could identify the scratchcards they had purchased, and to search for further information about those scratchcards.
Considering the bright, colourful designs in the ads and cartoon-like imagery were likely to appeal to children, the ASA upheld the complaint and told Rieves Lotteries that the ad must not appear again in current form, and to make sure future ads for gambling products did not have particular appeal to under-18s.