Gamesys’ JackpotJoy rapped by ASA for misleading prize promotion

30th April 2014 9:01 am GMT

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) bas banned an advert by Gamesys’ UK-facing Jackpotjoy.com after ruling that customers were misled about the prizes on offer during a free game promotion offered within chat rooms on the site.

The advertisement was featured on affiliate site Jackpotpro.com and encouraged players to participate in a promotional game, NYE Chat Party on the JackpotJoy site on December 31st last year.

The text of the ad stated that players had the chance “to win cash and prizes” through the game, although this was disputed by a single complainant. The person, who had participated in the game, challenged whether the promotion had been operated fairly, as they understood that no prizes had been awarded.

Gamesys responded to the claim through its Gibraltar-based subsidiary Profitable Play Ltd. It explained that the NYE Chat Party game was free to enter, with Jackpot Joy players invited to participate in a number of free game promotions offered within chat rooms on the site.

It denied that no players had won prizes, noting that cash and Joy Points (loyalty points) had been awarded to the winners of each game, and paid directly into their JackpotJoy accounts.

Joy Points, which are awarded each time a player gambles on the site, have a monetary value of £0.01, with chat hosts for each room given £20 to divide among winning players, with 19 players awarded between 200 and 300 points, with a monetary value of between £2 and £3.

Furthermore, Profitable Play said, 1,651 players had been awarded a cash prize of between £1 and £10 – of which 1,310 were awarded £1 prizes. It also provided evidence to show that the money and Joy Points had been paid directly into players’ accounts.

In its ruling, the ASA ruled against the operator however, noting that the ad was in breach of Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code rules 3.1, relating to misleading advertising; 3.7, concerning the substantiation of claims made in advertising and rules 8.2 and 8.20, both linked to sales promotions.

The authority explained that the nature of the prizes available was unclear in the promotional material, pointing to a number of statements, including the claim that winning prize amounts could vary between £2 and £10, or equivalent Joy Point value. This, it said, implied that Joy Points were the equivalent to a cash prize and not a separate prize that could not be withdrawn from the player’s account.

It also highlighted the fact that the prize of up to £10 was not available in equivalent Joy Point value as stated in the ad.

“We considered that the nature of the ‘prizes’ were unclear and that the referenced Joy Points were not awarded as stated in the terms and conditions,” the ASA explained. “We therefore concluded that the competition had not been administered fairly.”

The authority ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, and warned Profitable Play to ensure prizes awarded through a competition were as stated in the ad.

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