UKGC fines Lottoland £150,000 for unclear communication of services

Updating the market, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that Gibraltar-based online lottery operator Lottoland has been fined £150,000 for advertising failings of unclear communication of its services and promotions.

The UKGC details that Lottoland advertising ‘did not make it clear to consumers that they were betting on the outcome of a lottery draw and not actually taking part in a lottery’.

In its update, the Commission states that  ‘lotteries are different to other gambling products as a portion of proceeds must go to good causes’. The UKGC states that Lottoland had failed to make its audience aware of the type of gambling they may participate in.

On 1 February 2017 the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint about a radio advertisement broadcast on behalf of Lottoland. The complainant challenged whether the advertisement misleadingly implied that Lottoland were offering the opportunity to take part in a lottery as opposed to offering bets on the outcome of that lottery.

Following a review, the UKGC sided with ASA’s complaint, stating that Lottoland had failed to make it clear that ‘consumers were betting and not participating in a lottery.’

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Programme Director for Enforcement and Intelligence, said: “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.

“We expect all operators will learn the lessons from this case and take action to ensure that their consumers are clear about what they are being offered.”

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