Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority that football "risk free bet" advertising was misleading
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in favour of public complainants that Unibet football "risk free bet" advertisements are misleading and should be changed.
The advertisements concerned bets on a Sunderland vs. Manchester United Premier League game in August last year.
The Authority agreed that Facebook adverts for a supposedly "risk free bet" were misleading because they did not advise players that major conditions were attached to the offer.
A further two complaints about similar adverts, also making use of the words "risk free bet", were upheld in the adjudication.
The ASA investigated the complaints and discovered that punters were not told any refund on losing bets would be in a bonus, or credit, rather than cash, or that they would have to place more bets at specified odds.
Unibet said terms and conditions were available via a link and they did not consider the adverts were misleading.
However the ASA found: "We noted Unibet's view that it was not misleading to describe the offer as a "risk free bet" on the basis that the stake from the first bet placed would be returned to the customer in the form of a bonus if they had lost.
"However we considered that most consumers would understand they would be able to place a first bet of £20 without risk particularly in the absence of a qualification in the ads that the offer would be subject to terms and conditions.
"The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Unibet to ensure they did not use the term "risk free bet" to describe this bonus offer in future and future ads made clear significant conditions such as the requirement to place further bets at specified odds."
Unibet, in reply, said risk free bet was a term commonly used in the gambling industry for bonuses to attract new customers.
They said the terms and conditions explaining the procedure were not included in the social media adverts for space reasons but there was a link to their registration page.
Company representatives said Unibet was prepared to amend the ads by including the reference: "T&C apply, +18, www.gambleaware.co.uk" to alert customers that conditions applied.
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