UK Gambling Commission Throws Down £150k Fine on Lottoland
The fine is the latest in a series of punishments doled out to gambling operators that are, more often than not, based on a single consumer complaint.
In this case, the fine in question centers around a radio advertisement that the complainant said mislead consumers into thinking that Lottoland was a lottery, rather than an operator offering wagering on lotteries. In the world of regulated UK gambling, the term “lottery” has a very specific meaning, as the Commission mentioned in a release on its website reading:
Lotteries are different from other gambling products as a portion of the proceeds must go to good causes. The Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority therefore consider it important that consumers are made aware of the type of gambling they are participating in.
Commissioners were also peeved that Lottoland was a bit ambiguous about the services it offers and the fact that it really isn’t a lottery.
In his comments on the case, Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Programme Director for Enforcement and Intelligence spoke on the importance of not miseading consumers saying:
In this case the operator used ambiguous terminology in their marketing and advertising, which was misleading. That is not acceptable and the £150,000 penalty package reflects the seriousness of Lottoland’s failures.
To show that the UK is really, deadly, serious about making certain that lotteries serve charities, Lottoland is required to pay its fine in the form a donation to a good cause.