Paddy Power rapped for offering “risk free” bets

Paddy Power has said it will no longer use the term "risk free" in its advertising.
Paddy Power has said it will no longer use the term "risk free" in its advertising.

The UK advertising watchdog has found fault with the gaming operator’s choice of words.

UK.- Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power has received a slap on the wrist from the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has upheld a complaint about the language used in a promotional campaign.

Online ads run in The Sun newspaper in the UK and Ireland had offered players a “£20 risk free first bet”.

Under the offer, Paddy Power would return a player’s stake on their first bet if they lost. However, the ASA said it was socially irresponsible to suggest that gambling was risk-free.

Flutter said that there were no restrictions on using the term “risk-free” in gambling promotions but that it has already decided it would no longer use the term.

The ASA said: “A complainant challenged whether the ad was socially irresponsible because it suggested that gambling was risk-free. Flutter Entertainment plc said that they had been working towards ending the use of the ‘risk free’ wording in their ads.

“We welcomed Flutter’s willingness to make changes to their advertising, and their assurance that they would not promote gambling as being potentially ‘risk free’ in future marketing communications.”

Flutter’s decision comes as both the UK and Ireland consider tightening restrictions on gambling advertising in their current reviews of gambling legislation.

Paddy Power has confirmed that it will end its sponsorship of Irish football television coverage ahead of the Irish Bookmakers Association’s new whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads.

Last month it emerged that Flutter’s Sky Betting and Gaming could be sued after it sent marketing messages to self-excluded customers.

See also: Irish gambling bill proposes ban on free bets and credit card gambling

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