Lottery Betting Site LottoGo in Trouble with ASA

Lottery betting sites are back in the news again and this time it’s LottoGo.com that’s fallen foul of the UK’s gambling laws.

 US Mega Millions.

A misleading advert about the US Mega Millions lottery has landed LottGo.com in hot water. (Image: WKYT)

Following a complaint made in March 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) looked into the way LottoGo.com (formerly World Lotter Club) promoted its games.

Reviewing the site’s promotions and focusing specifically on an ad published on July 13, 2018, the ASA concluded that the information presented was misleading.

Site Fails to Explain US Lotto Tax

At the heart of the matter was the claim that players could win the £256 million Mega Millions jackpot. Unlike the UK, lottery winnings in the US are taxed, which means winners don’t receive the full payout.

In addition to one complainant pointing this out, the ASA felt that it wasn’t made clear that players would be betting on the draw rather than investing in it directly. This complaint has become a recurring problem for lottery betting sites in the UK.

Back in June 2017, Lottoland was fined £150,000 by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for similar advertising failures.

The operator used ambiguous terminology in their marketing and advertising, which was misleading. That is not acceptable and the £150,000 penalty package reflects the seriousness of Lottoland’s failures,” said the UKGC’s Programme Director for Enforcement, Richard Watson.

Lottery Betting Sites Under Fire

Prior to the UKGC and ASA taking action against lottery betting sites, British lottery operator Camelot criticised the new breed of sites. Talking to iGaming Business, a spokesperson for the company said that lottery betting sites were damaging the “reputability” of the business.

In defence of its advert, LottoGo.com told the ASA that it had clearly used the words “bet” and “how to bet” in their literature. However, on review, the ASA found that these weren’t sufficient to explain how the site works.

Although the operator has escaped a fine, the advert must not appear in its previous form and any future promotional literature must make it clear that winnings can be subject to deductions.

How Lottery Betting Sites Work

One of the major problems UK lottery betting sites have faced in recent years is the uncertainty regarding how the games are played. In contrast to a real lottery where players buy a ticket and contribute directly to the prizepool, betting sites aren’t connected to the game.

Instead, lottery betting sites work in the following way:

Players sign-up to the site and make a deposit.

They select a lottery and then choose a relevant set of numbers.

Players pay money into a communal prizepool owned by the operator.

If the numbers drawn match those picked by a player, that player wins a prize equal to what they would have won if they’d have played the real game.

In essence, players are betting on the outcome in the same way they would a sporting contest. For example, if someone correctly bet on Team A to beat Team B, they’d win some money in the same way they would if they correctly bet on 5, 6, 8, 21 and 35.

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