UK Ad Regulators Come Down on Lottoland for Powerball Payout Claims
The UK’s final word on gambling advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), is in a tiff with Lottoland over the perceived size of the digital lottery operator’s Powerball payouts.
Responding to a complaint from a “customer” (more likely an anti-gambling activist), the ASA investigated Lottoland and its claims that players could win as much as £169 million ($223 million USD) from the Lottoland.co.uk website. According the ASA, the player felt deceived because the actual amount of the big prize depended on whether or not the player accepted the prize in annual payments or in a lump sum. (Most lotteries offer winners the option of receiving the full amount in payments or a reduced prize in one payment.)
Officials at Lottoland, who were likely surprised to be defending such a common and innocuous practice, defended their advertising and pointed out that all the relevant details were readily available in their FAQs. They further pointed out that the prize payouts duplicated the practices of the US lotteries they ride on.
While this explanation may make perfect sense to the layman, it just wasn’t enough for the good folks at the ASA. They agreed with the complainant saying that the £169 million payout claim was what consumers expected to take from the deal and that’s what the advertising should reflect.
Fortunately for Lottoland, the ASA decided that this supposed breach of truth in advertising did not rise to the level of an actual fine. They ordered the company to be more careful in the future and let them off without a fine.