Lottoland fined $192,000 for misleading customers in advert made on its behalf

  • Gibraltar-based Lottoland fined by UK authorities
  • Company breached advertising standards over misleading advert

Gibraltar-based lottery betting company Lottoland has been fined £150,000 ($192,000) by UK authorities for misleading customers through its advertising.

Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, which has handed a £150,000 fine to lottery betting operator Lottoland for misleading advertising made on its behalf.
Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, which has handed a £150,000 fine to lottery betting operator Lottoland for misleading advertising made on its behalf.

Lottoland is not a lottery provider, but instead offers bets on the outcome of active lotteries.

However, the British authorities which regulate gambling and advertising ruled that a radio advert broadcast on behalf of the company was in breach of the law, because it did not make clear to consumers how the game really works.

Advertising standards breach

Gambling in the UK is strictly regulated by the Gambling Commission to protect consumers, to ensure the fair management of gambling profits and to ensure that operators work within the confines of the law.

They are sometimes aided in their work by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which makes rulings over the fairness, accuracy and safety of marketing materials. In the case of the Lottoland breach, it was determined that the ads could mislead consumers into thinking they were buying a lottery ticket, rather than placing a bet on a draw.

How did Lottoland respond?

Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland, responded to the fine, stating the firm would learn lessons from the breach.

He said: “Lottoland was happy to work cooperatively with the Gambling Commission on this important matter.

“Lottoland has further enhanced its procedures and controls to ensure all future marketing communications are fully compliant.

“We look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with the Gambling Commission as we continue to develop and pioneer the lotto betting category.”

What is Lottoland?

Instead of players buying a lottery ticket to take part in a draw, players bet on lottery numbers for an existing draw through the Lottoland site. This might be a UK draw or any lottery event in the world – bets on the US Powerball lottery are very common.

If the placed bet wins, Lottoland pays the player. For this reason, Lottoland cannot be classed as a lottery and it is not bound by the same rules.

Social causes to benefit from Lottoland fine

The Gambling Commission, in partnership with the Advertising Standards Agency, determined that Lottoland should pay a £150,000 fine. This fine is required to go towards one or more causes deemed ‘socially responsible’.

Lottoland also had to pay the authority’s investigation costs of £9,000.

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