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Lottoland ‘committed’ to transparency after latest ad rap

| By iGB Editorial Team
Lottoland vows to improve accuracy of marketing campaigns after ASA ruling

Lottoland has vowed to improve the accuracy of its marketing campaigns after falling foul of the UK’s advertising watchdog once again.

The lottery betting games operator was ordered to withdraw an advert after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint last July that a quoted a PowerBall payout of £169m was unobtainable because of compulsory deductions.

The complainant, who believed the jackpot total was subject to change depending on whether it was paid out in a single lump sum or in instalments, challenged whether the ad was misleading. The ASA ultimately agreed and ruled “the ad must not appear again in the form complained of”.

In a statement, Nigel Birrell (pictured), CEO of Lottoland, said: “Lottoland accepts the Advertising Standards Agency’s (ASA), findings and has already added more information to the website to further clarify the deductions on the Powerball jackpot.

“Lottoland volunteered to make changes to the website as soon as this issue was raised, as we are committed to being fully open and transparent with our customers.”

Lottoland’s parent company EU Lotto said its website referred to the options to take a lump sum or a 30-year annuity and were satisfied that an explanation of the jackpot amount, how it was paid out and the difference between the lump sum and 30-year instalment options were explained clearly.

However, the ASA said consumers were likely to understand that the whole £169m would be paid out in a single sum immediately after the draw if they chose the correct winning numbers.

It found that the figure would always be reduced by 38% to allow for the tax that winners in the official lottery would have to pay. Participants opting for the single lump sum rather than the 30-year term would then receive 60% of the remaining balance.

Last year Lottoland was also slapped down by the ASA for a radio advert that did not make clear that consumers would be gambling on the outcome of a lottery rather than actually participating in it.

In an interview soon after with iGamingBusiness.com, Birrell suggested Lottoland was being unfairly targeted by regulators.

“The fine I feel was pretty unfair to be honest with you. Look at the number of companies that have had adverse ASA rulings and then nothing’s happened,” he said in December 2017.

“That was our first ever — and still only adverse — ASA ruling yet the GC decided to clamp down on us so we made a voluntary settlement of $150,000, but it does seem to me a little bit unfair that other companies weren’t asked to do that.”

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