Apart from 888, another company that’s fallen foul of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) this week is the Gala Coral Group Ltd., who of course is the mastermind behind our very own Gala Bingo. This time, the complaint was over an email offering a £10 bonus, which left a rather cross claimant wound up over wagering requirements.
The mail-shot stated that members needed to “simply deposit £10” and play on the Alice’s Wonderland slot to release a “100% bonus of up to £10.” A footnote stated that 100% deposit match terms and conditions applied. Player X, however, said that, whilst she understood that a £50 stake was required to release the reward, she felt that the email was misleading as it appeared to offer the bonus solely on a £10 deposit.
When put in the hot seat, the Gala Bingo parent company explained that the email in question had only been sent to existing players of the site, who should have already been familiar with the standard 5x wagering requirement. They also stated that the mailer contained various (and what they considered to be prominent) links to the Alice’s Wonderland promotion’s splash page, which clearly stated the terms and conditions of the offer. However, they did agree that players would have been able to participate directly in the offer via their website without having ever viewed the T’s &Cs.
Whilst the ASA agreed with Gala’s points made about member familiarisation with play-through requirements, and the inclusion of links to the offer’s T’s & C’s, they were concerned that players would be able to deposit money directly to their online bingo accounts and take part in the promotion without ever being directed to the relevant terms and conditions page. The CAP Code requires advertisers to present consumers with any significant conditions prior to purchase, and as they felt that the wagering requirement would have been likely to affect a player’s understanding of the bonus on offer, it should have been clearly stated in the mail-shot up front. The ASA, therefore, concluded that the email had breached codes 3.1 and 3.3 (misleading advertising) and 8.17.1 (significant conditions for promotions) of the CAP Code, and ordered Gala to amend the advert if it was to be used again in the future.
What do you think about bingo promotional ads? Do you think that they are clear enough, or do they often appear to promise far more than is actually the case?