Betting on lotteries and lottery themed gaming products: being clear to consumers
You need to make sure your customers understand the product they are buying. Betting on lotteries is an area where the consumer can be easily misled.
Standalone products offered via a lottery branded website where the use of lottery themed terms such as ‘draw’, ‘play now’, ‘jackpot’ are used along with lottery ticket style betting slips, can result in consumers believing these products involve participation in a lottery rather than a betting or gaming product.
Lotteries can only be run for good causes
Lotteries are only for good causes, such as charities and other non-commercial organisations. Lotteries cannot be run for private or commercial gain and are required to return any profit to the purposes of the good cause for which they are run. This provides lottery operators with the unique position of being able to promote the fact that they are run solely for the benefit of good causes, without any commercial incentive.
Being clear to consumers about the product they are buying
You must not mislead consumers into participating in other forms of gambling because the information they have been provided with has led them to believe that the product being offered is a lottery and that it is being offered by someone other than a licensed operator and/or assuming the profits go to a good cause rather than a commercial gambling business.
If you offer betting on lotteries and other gaming products with a lottery theme you must ensure that all your marketing material and advertising, including website, is sufficiently clear to the average customer.
This should allow a customer to determine if they are placing a bet, playing a casino game, bingo or slots games.
We consider this to be particularly important where the product is available online and therefore may not be clearly presented within a betting, casino, gaming machine or bingo environment, but it is also applicable to those operating in licensed premises.
Marketing and advertising of betting on lottery products
LCCP: Ordinary code 5.1.6
You should adhere to the UK Advertising Codes and apply them to forms of marketing that are not normally captured by those codes.
If you are offering betting on lotteries and other lottery themed gaming products you must provide sufficient information, publicised in a way where it is likely to come to the notice of all consumers, to make it clear that they are participating in betting or gaming rather than entering a lottery.
Failure to do this could amount to misleading advertising and a breach of the fair and open licensing objective, which could lead to a review of your operating licence. A review could result in a formal warning, additional licence conditions, a financial penalty, suspension or revocation of your licence.
Failure to comply with UK Advertising Codes could also result in adverse publicity for your business from adjudication by the ASA or sanctions, including the denial of media space.
The UK Advertising Codes, which are written and maintained by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), include general rules that state advertising must:
- be responsible
- not mislead
- not offend.
And there are specific rules that cover advertising to children and advertisements for specific products and services, including gambling.
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
The Consumer Protection Regulations (CPRs) prohibit unfair marketing to consumers, including misleading advertising. The ASA will take factors identified in the CPRs into account when considering whether a marketing communication breaches the CAP code.
LCCP: Social responsibility code 5.1.7
You must satisfy yourself that your marketing communications, advertisements and invitations to purchase (within the meaning of the CPRs), do not amount to or involve misleading actions or misleading omissions within the meaning of those regulations.
Failure to comply with social responsibility codes carries the same weight as a breach of licence conditions.