UK advertising watchdog updates guidance for promoting matched betting

The ASA has sent updated guidance to the CAP Executive.
The ASA has sent updated guidance to the CAP Executive.

The ASA has warned that matched betting adverts must comply with the same rules as other gambling adverts.

UK.- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has updated its guidance on the promotion of matched betting services, where players bet on all outcomes of an event using free bets offered by bookmakers as incentives. It says that such offers should not be advertised as being “risk-free”.

The idea is by betting on all possible outcomes, players “ensure a winning bet, possibly profiting from promotional free bets”. However, the ASA says that despite this, advertising cannot imply that they are risk-free, which it argues contradicts the mechanics of gambling.

It noted that under the UK CAP Code, gambling adverts must not suggest that betting can solve financial problems or generate financial security. It recalled that it found fault with ads from OddsMonkey in 2019, deeming them to be irresponsible for “suggesting simplicity and high earning potential”.

It says that it found exaggerations about earnings potential in adverts by Profit Accumulator and Grip Media. The watchdog said it will continue to investigate claims of exaggerated potential earnings from matched betting.

The ASA has also advised media that “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 update comes after the ASA received a complaint about an ad on a site that targets university students but also had content that engaged under-18s. The ASA agreed that the ad was inappropriately targeted and socially irresponsible.

See also: ASA dismisses complaint against bet365 Eubank Jr tweet

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