An ad on a gambling website www.jackpotpro.com stated "Win prizes in time for New Year's! Celebrate New Year's Eve with fun-filled games and the chance to win cash and prizes in our all-day NYE Chat Party. Chat Tues 31st December ….View Details".
The complainant, who had participated in the chat game, challenged whether the promotion had been administered fairly because they understood that no prizes had been awarded.
Profitable Play Ltd said the NYE Chat Party was free to enter and ran between 10 am and 10 pm on 31 December 2013. They said that members of the Jackpotjoy website were invited to participate in a number of free game promotions that were offered within the chat rooms of the website and that cash and Joy Point prizes were awarded to winners of the respective games and paid directly into their Jackpotjoy accounts. They explained that Joy Points were like loyalty points and were collected by members each time they wagered on the website, but that they could also win them as part of a promotion (including the NYE Chat Party). They said members could use collected Joy Points in a number of ways to enter into prize draws or use in the "Shop of Joy". They said Joy Points were given a value of £0.01 per Joy Point so 200 Joy Points were worth the equivalent of £2.00. They further explained that hosts of the chat rooms in which the cash and prizes were available each had £20 to divide out to winners.
They said that 1,651 winners were awarded a cash prize of between £1 and £10 (1310 of which were discretionary £1 cash awards) and provided evidence to demonstrate how the cash prizes were distributed amongst those winners. They said 19 members were awarded Joy Points ranging from 200 to 300 (which was equivalent to £2 and £3) and also provided evidence to show how those points were awarded amongst winners. They also provided evidence which demonstrated that payments and Joy Points were made directly into the winners' Jackpotjoy accounts.
The ASA noted the ad referred to winning "cash and prizes" and considered that consumers would understand from this that players could win cash or another reward (a non-cash prize). We understood the ad clicked through to terms and conditions which were available before and during play, and which included the statements "Winning prize amounts for each game can vary between £2 and £10 (or equivalent Joy Point Value)" and "All cash and Joy Point prizes will be credited automatically into winners' accounts" and considered that this implied that Joy Points were the equivalent of the cash awards (as opposed to a distinctly separate prize) and it was subsequently unclear what constituted the 'prize' element of the awards referenced in the main ad. We noted evidence demonstrated that cash amounts which varied from £1 to £10 were awarded to 1651 winners and that these cash prizes were paid into the winners' Jackpotjoy accounts and could be withdrawn as cash (as opposed to only being available as credit for further play). Although evidence showed that Joy Points prizes were also awarded to winners on the day of play, we noted those points ranged from between 200 and 300 (equivalent to £2 and £3) but that the higher Joy Point amounts (equivalent of £4 to £10) referred to in the terms and conditions were not awarded. 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. We therefore concluded that the competition had not been administered fairly.
The the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation), 8.2 8.2 Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment. and 8.20 8.20 Promoters must not exaggerate consumers' chances of winning prizes. They must not include a consumer who has been awarded a gift in a list of prize winners. (Sales promotions).
The ad should not appear again in its current form. We told Profitable Play Ltd to ensure prizes that were awarded were as stated in the ad.