The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) revealed that a warning has been issued to the Panbet Limited-operated betting website Marathonbet. The warning regarded a promotion that was found misleading to players as it did not make a clear statement that part of the winnings generated by customers would be paid out in free bets.
According to the promotional text, this was a new customer offer for Marathonbet. There was smaller text underneath, according to which the minimum bet allowed amounted to £5, and the maximum stake was estimated to £10. The advertisement said that only £5 of the player’s minimum bet would be paid at 2:1 odds, while “enhanced price” was paid as a free bet.
The Marathonbet.co.uk promotional offer got into action in March this year and was especially aimed at new customers for the Cheltenham Festival. One person only has made a complaint because they believed that the offer’s conditions were not clear enough and somehow misleading.
The complainant’s protest towards the advertisement was supported by the Advertising Standards Authority, despite that Marathonbet responded to the accusations and said that the offer made clear a significant amount of the limitations. The betting operator also argued, saying that there was a hyperlink to the Terms and Conditions, making everything clear for the users, including how to participate in the promotion and how their eventual winnings would be paid.
Marathonbet also described the statement that £5 of the player’s bet would be paid at increased odds as a”typographical error”, as the advertisement should have stated £10 instead of £5. In addition, the company confirmed that the players who had qualified for the offer had their winnings cashed out accordingly to its terms and conditions.
Unfortunately for Marathonbet, the UK watchdog found that the promotional offer text was not adequate enough in order to make it clear what it meant under the terms “enhanced price” and “free bet”. In addition, it found the context of the advert misleading, because all customers taking part in the offer could have expected that their winnings were cashed out at the above-mentioned 2:1 odds.
According to the ASA ruling, Marathonbet’s advertisement must not be displayed any more in its current form. The betting operator is also required to ensure that none of its future offers will mislead participants that part of their winnings would be cashed out in free bets on its website.