Looks like the UK's number one gambling watchdog is living up to their promises. The UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) has recently released a reminders which may shock many but brings little surprise to few.
That reminder, aimed at all lottery operators, that their advertising standards set by the ASA. This could mean many things but one glaring sign is that lottery operators are not up to scratch with their advertising, possibly even misleading.
In the reminder published on their website, the UKGC prompted lottery operators to review the ASA (advertising Standards Agency) ruling that concerns UK Advertising Codes. One of the UKGC's key objectives as an organisation is to ensure that all gambling organisations are following the right regulations so that their marketing doesn't break any laws.
Among those are laws which ban companies centred around gambling do not promote their services to anyone under the age of 18, structure their adverts to make addiction look like a positive thing, etc. They're tough and with good reason; gambling can hurt people who are particularly vulnerable and the way it has to be carefully handled. However, it would seem that lottery operators need a sharp reminder of what those laws are.
This reminder by the UKGC (more like warning) was issued thanks to a bunch of complaints they received from customers about the way the Health Lottery advertised some of its prizes. This complaint in particular centred around the advertisement that players could have “five chances to win up to £100k/£500k”. The complaint claimed that those figures were misleading as players don't have a hope of achieving that much.
In response, the Health Lottery assured customers that these figures are accurate. The possibility of getting this much, it seems, is still there — the odds are just extremely slim. The UKGC, however, has still issued its reminder so as to not get further complaints. Of course, stating that the £100k is guaranteed is very egregious and should never be tolerated. But it's hard to deny they are walking a very thin line here…
While the UKGC has done its job in responding to the complaint accordingly, is the complaint a little harsh in the first place? The entire nature of any lottery is that the odds of you winning the highest amount is very slim. It's all based on luck and chance. Sure, the health lottery has higher odds than most but should the UKGC listen to a bunch of people who could just be sore losers?
The answer: yes they should. It shouldn't be taken for granted that these people are just bitter. Companies hold a responsibility to not make promises they can't keep and the Health lottery (while far from the worst example) shouldn't get people's hopes up too much only to not deliver the goods.