As an England fan, I can confidently say that the topic of this blog post is about the only positive to come out of England’s UEDA Euro 2016 campaign.
Bitterness aside, lets discuss how Ladbrokes earnt themselves a slap on the wrist from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for misleading promotions they ran during the Euros.
Now we all know that the bookmakers can be very clever in how they go about hiding clauses in their terms and conditions. These obscured clauses can often result in an offer yielding far less value than is expected. This represents one of our biggest tasks here at Heads&Heads and, fortunately for our members, we spend hours going through the terms and conditions of every offer to ensure there are no nasty surprises.
The offer in question was related to the Group B game between England and Wales. The promotion stated that new customers could, with a maximum stake of £10, “get 6/1 for England to beat Wales or get 12/1 for Wales to beat England”, with the stake returned as a free bet if a losing selection was made.
The complainant, who took up the offer, has had their challenge upheld by the ASA because Ladbrokes failed to state that part of the winnings from bets would be paid in free bet tokens. Ladbrokes stated that, unsurprisingly, this detail was stated deep in their terms and conditions. But the ASA dismissed this by responding that “this was a significant piece of information likely to impact consumers' understanding of the offer”.
Very rarely are bookmakers pulled up by governing authorities for false or misleading advertisement. So for Ladbrokes to be reprimanded for misleading promotions is a big deal. What’s more, is that this reprimand was triggered after a single customer complaint.
So, you might be thinking, Ladbrokes got a slap on the wrist, why is this such a big deal? Well, bookmakers are always looking for ways to make their offers more appealing on the surface, while hiding clauses in the terms and conditions that make it very hard for us to make a profit. So, the more this practice is cracked down on, the more transparent bookmaker offers need to be. Thus, in order to comply with the rules but still attract new customers, bookmakers will have to do away with things like, hidden wage requirements, that make an offer less attractive to the average punter.
To reiterate, all of this came from one person complaining. This win for the little guy is almost enough to wash away the disappointment of the Euros…..almost!