Gibraltar-based sportsbook BetUK.com has fallen foul of the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an e-mail campaign in the summer that promoted a Euro 2008-themed full match bonus.
Owned by online casino operator Sportingbet, BetUK.com was marketing its Euro 2008 Deposit Bonus and promised a full match windfall for players making a payment between June 5 and 8.
“BetUK.com is celebrating by offering a free £25 match bonus plus the chance to become a millionaire by picking Euro 2008 winners,” read the e-mail.
However, underneath this text there was a disclaimer that read ‘Bonuses are intended for recreational gamblers only’. Two players who were subsequently refused the bonus because BetUK.com believed them to be professional gamblers complained alleging that the e-mail was misleading. They argued that it was not made clear whether the bonus was awarded to all recipients of the e-mail and whether the communication was suitable for those targeted if some were to be considered professional gamblers.
While the ASA did not agree with the first argument, it did find BetUK.com at fault on the second point.
“We noted the ad stated ‘Bonuses are intended for recreational gamblers only. Professional players or players considered to be abusing the bonus system by any means may have bonuses revoked at the discretion of BetUK management’ but understood from the complainants that they were only informed they were not eligible for the bonus after they had made £100 worth of bets specifically to qualify for it,” read the ASA’s judgement.
As the offer had now expired, the ASA could not change the e-mail. But, BetUK.com stated that it had changed its marketing procedures to prevent professional gamblers and tipsters from receiving promotions, actions that were welcomed by the ASA.