UK Gambling Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for August 24, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Aug 24, 2018

UK National Lottery Operator Fined By Gambling Commission

National Lottery operator Camelot fined GBP 1.15 million over app fault and other failings

UK National Lottery operator Camelot has been fined GBP 1.15 million for a number of failings, the UK gambling regulator has revealed.

The issues identified by the Gambling Commission included a fault within the lottery’s mobile app and the publication of an incomplete list of Lotto prizes online.

The Commission said Thursday that players using the National Lottery mobile app may have been presented with an incorrect “non-winning” message when checking a winning ticket using the manual results checker or QR ticket scanner.

On another occasion, a temporary results page on the National Lottery website displayed an incomplete list of raffle prizes following a Lotto Medal Event draw. Only 21 of the 88 prizes were displayed.

Among the other failings, which stretch back to 2016, were problems with direct debit instructions, security measures and Post Office controls, the Gambling Commission said, noting that the issues were “sufficiently serious” to warrant a financial penalty following the completion of an investigation that began in 2016.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission executive director, said: “Camelot has taken a number of steps to rectify the issues and given us assurances that they now have the right processes in place to prevent reoccurrences.

“It is crucial that the National Lottery is run fairly, safely and with integrity and we’ll continue to hold Camelot to account.”

A Camelot spokesperson said: “We accept the outcome of the Gambling Commission’s investigation in respect of a number of incidents dating back to 2016.

“As part of the regulatory settlement, we have accepted the historical licence breaches identified, provided voluntary undertakings and will make a payment to National Lottery Good Causes in lieu of a financial penalty.

Annexio’S Lottogo Advert Banned By A.S.A.

Secondary lottery firm contests claims that it failed to make clear that gamblers were betting on the outcome of the game rather than participating in it

The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has ordered Annexio’s LottoGo secondary lottery subsidiary to take down advertising which it says is misleading.

The advert on which the complaint centres was for entry to the US Mega Millions lottery in July, stating “Mega Millions £256 Million”, and: “Mega Millions has an opening jackpot of $15 million with no cap. It makes the world’s biggest lottery winners!”

The advertisement was the subject of complaint that it did not make clear that punters were betting on the outcome of the draw rather than participating in it, or that prizes were subject to US taxes, the Advertising Standards Authority said.

Contesting the complaint, the lottery company said it was industry practice to advertise potential prize amounts pre-tax, and it was not possible for them to know the tax status of their players, who were resident in a range of jurisdictions.

The advert made clear that tax and other deductions may be made from the winnings, and that entrants were betting on the draw outcome rather than actual participation, LottoGo claimed.

It said the website explained to consumers that they were betting on the outcome of lotteries rather than entering them.

The ASA said terms on the website said the pay-out could be lower than stated if it were taken as a lump sum, and might be further reduced to copy how US taxes might reduce winnings from the actual lottery, but said this needed to be included prominently where prize fund amounts were quoted.

It also found the overall impression was that consumers were being offered the opportunity to play the Mega Millions lottery, among others, in the advert even though the site was offering consumers the opportunity to bet on the outcome via a gambling operator.

The Authority ruled: “Because consumers were unlikely to understand from the ad as a whole that they were being offered the opportunity to bet on the outcome of a lottery via a gambling operator, rather than participate in the lottery itself, we concluded that the ad was misleading. We told to make clear, as soon as prize funds were quoted, the extent to which winnings may be subjected to deductions.

“Furthermore, they must make clear that consumers were not being offered the opportunity to participate in a lottery, but to bet on its outcome.”

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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