Ladbrokes in Hot Water Again

Ladbrokes in Hot Water Again

UK betting behemoth Ladbrokes have once again fallen foul of the ASA, the advertising watchdog body in that country.

The controversy this time centers on Ladbrokes’ banner ad, which stated that players could grab ‘up to £500 in Free Bets’.

The banner was deemed by ASA to be misleading.

This was not because it was impossible to get £500 in Free Bets with Ladbrokes, but rather that the ad understated (and then some) the ease with which this could be achieved.

It all revolved around the commission which punters pay to Ladbrokes on their winnings as standard.

Under the system as it stands, 5% is deducted off winnings as commission and paid to Ladbrokes.

And this promotion matched the first £25 in commission that a winner paid 100%; for every £100 in commission paid thereafter, Ladbrokes would pay another £25, up to a maximum of £500 in total.

Sounds fairly attractive on the surface, but it’s important to remember that the Free Money is only awarded on commission paid, not bets staked or winnings accrued.

So for instance if a player won £500 for themselves, they’d pay 5% commission to Ladbrokes of £25, but then they’d be given the £25 back in effect as ‘Free Money’ with which to bet again.

To net an additional £25, they’d have to have won £2,000 on top (because every subsequent £100 in commission would get £25 Free Money, and 5% of £2,000 is £100).

In other words winnings of £2,500 would get the player £50 Free Money.

And that’s on winnings - obviously, depending on the bet, a player may have to risk a whole lot more than that.

For instance, Ladbrokes themselves are offering odds of 1:7 at the time of writing on a ‘No’ vote on the Scottish referendum.

To get the winnings of £2,500, and thus the Free Money of £50, listed above a player would have to stake a massive £21,000 on a ‘No’ vote (assuming it came up of course).

So to claim the full £500, on the basis of 5% commission on winnings, the player would have had to have WON a staggering £38,500 (and so staked over quarter of a million Pounds!) to qualify for the maximum Free Bet of £500.

ASA felt that even the Terms and Conditions, which were the requisite ‘one click away’, did not sufficiently play down the likelihood of players netting the full prize and so Ladbrokes’ protests that the promo stressed winnings could be ‘up to £500’ fell on deaf ears.

As did Ladbrokes’ claims that around £900 players had already claimed the Free Bets, with a handful of them having indeed reached the £500 max.

This is not the first time in recent months that Ladbrokes have raised ASA’s ire.

Back in May they drew fire (though no obligation to remove the ads) for their ‘Life’ campaign which appeared to glamorize gambling in presenting 5 ‘regular’ guys from different walks of life, and their approaches to successful gaming (pictured above).

And 888 and Paddy Power have similarly felt the heat from the watchdog body.

In general, of course, compromise needs to be reached.

Ladbrokes are a big player with a strong and proven reputation, who are simply ‘pushing at the envelope’ as to what they can get away with in their promotions, much the same as companies in other sectors do.

That’s not to say there aren’t rogue casinos and betting agencies out there who won’t rob you blind; but something like ASA exists for a purpose, and a jolly good one it is to, to ensure the good guys don’t sully their own standing.

All of our casinos listed take a similar view — indeed if they did not, they would be removed from our site.

That’s not just honeyed words — it’s precisely what happened in the case of Unibet.

So always use our site when selecting a casino with which to game securely — not only will you be in safe hands, but also we often have special offers, Free Spins, Free Money (at attainable levels!)  which you won’t be able to get by joining the casino direct, so always go via our links.