The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reversed its previous ruling on a Sky Betting & Gaming TV advertisement.

The advert promoted the online operator’s Request a Bet service, which gives punters a chance to create their own football bets. First broadcast on 30th August 2018, the ad received two complaints which said the ad emphasised the notion that a good knowledge of sports might improve gambling success.

At first, the ASA agreed that the ad implied that sports knowledge could improve sports betting success. As a result, the advert was ruled ‘socially irresponsible’ in March 2019. The Authority also ruled that the advertisement was in breach with BCAP code rules 17.3. 

However, the reversal of this ruling came after ASA decided that the ad did not suggest sports knowledge improved betting success, but rather that it might be useful when building a complex bet through the Request a Bet feature. 

In its reversal, the ASA cited a phrase from the ad, “in sport anything does happen”, demonstrating recognition of the uncertainty of outcomes in sporting events.
The complaints have since been classed as “not upheld” and the ASA concluded that “the ad was not socially irresponsible and did not breach the Code.”
After the reversal, a spokesperson for Sky Betting & Gaming told EGR that it “welcomes the clarity which revised ruling brings, and is committed to supporting the work of ASA in this area going forward.”

Sky Betting & Gaming was not the only gambling operator to have complaints about an advertisement dismissed by the ASA. The Authority also ruled against a complaint about Betfair’s “Cash Out” promotion, which first appeared in October 2018.

The Flutter Entertainment brand’s promotion was accused of being misleading because players could not cash out under the stated terms. While phrases, such as ‘Cash Out When the Moment Is Right and Take Your Profits’ could be deemed misleading, and instructions of how players could cash out might not seem transparent, there was additional text that specified:

“Cash Out is available on selected markets where the orange ‘Cash Out’ symbol is shown. Images are for illustration purposes only. Cash Out is not always guaranteed to be available.”
Betfair explained that this option was not guaranteed on all bets, and provided links to explanatory documents with terms and conditions.

The ASA concluded that Betfair had been transparent that “that it was clear from the add that cash out was not always available and the linked terms and conditions and Sportsbook pages clearly set out the scenarios in which cash out would not be available to consumers.”According to UK Gambling Commission regulation, UKGC-licensed gambling operators must comply with UK advertising Codes issued by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Any brands found in breach of these Codes may be breaching their Licensing Conditions & Codes of Practice (LCCP).

Of course, while it is up to gambling operators to take measures to protect consumers, it is important that consumers take their own steps to gamble responsibly