SBC News ASA: Match Betting ads cannot imply a risk free promotion

ASA: Match Betting ads cannot imply a risk free promotion

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has updated its guidance on promoting Match Betting services/offers to the general public.

The guidance has been forwarded to the CAP Executive relating to non-broadcast advertising, with the watchdog underlining that its recommendations “do not constitute legal advice”.

ASA defines matched betting as a technique where individuals bet on all outcomes of an event using free bets offered by bookmakers to incentivise customers: “By betting on all possible outcomes, individuals ensure a winning bet, possibly profiting from promotional free bets.”

 Media owners were notified that “ads for matched betting are not gambling themselves, but as they instruct on how to bet, they should not be targeted at those under 18 years old”. 

The watchdog investigated a complaint about an ad on a site targeting university students, which also had content engaging under-18s. The ad was deemed inappropriately targeted and socially irresponsible.

Advertisers must ensure that match betting campaigns cannot imply a ‘risk free’ promotion due the mechanics of wagering and potential for loss.

ASA referred its partners to a ruling in 2019 related to ads from OddsMonkey deemed irresponsible for “suggesting simplicity and high earning potential”.

The CAP Code states that ads must not suggest that gambling could be a solution to financial concerns or a way to achieve financial security. Ads for matched betting, which facilitate gambling, are assessed with these rules in mind.

Misleading exaggerations about earnings potential and time investment were found in ads by Profit Accumulator Ltd and Grip Media Ltd.

ASA will continue to investigate claims of exaggerated potential earnings from matched betting, which have in cases been promoted as a financial solution for audiences, breaching the CAP Code.

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