The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has came down on an advert from a sports betting affiliate site which was deemed to underplay the risks involved in matched betting. The ASA concluded that the ad, posted on the homepage of www.oddsmonkey.com in November of last year, was “irresponsible and therefore breached the Code”.
The ad stated: “Make Money Online with OddsMonkey. OddsMonkey makes it simple for you to earn a tax-free second income.”
Further text read: “How does Matched Betting Work? With our bespoke software and a bit of good, old-fashioned maths, you can minimise the risk associated with ordinary betting. Because matched betting isn’t gambling; it’s about maximising your profit potential with the original developers of the UK’s leading software”.
The complainant argued that the ad underplayed the risks involved in matched betting and was therefore irresponsible. OddsMonkey responded by saying they had “taken care to construct their copy carefully and in a socially responsible manner to ensure it encapsulated that matched betting was not gambling and used mathematics and the company’s own proprietary software to minimise the risk associated with ordinary gambling”.
However the ASA upheld the complaint. “We understood that matched betting involved taking advantage of promotional “free” bets offered by gambling operators,” the authority expanded.
“Customers were told to bet for and against a possible outcome with two different gambling operators offering the same odds so that the bets cancelled out – for example, betting on a horse to win a race with one operator and placing a lay bet (where the customer effectively plays the role of the bookmaker) with another operator on the same horse not to win.
“Where one of those bets was a promotional “free bet”, a profit could be made because the customer did not have to pay for the stake.”
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about, and the ASA told OddsMonkey not to present its matched betting service in an irresponsible manner, for example, by underplaying the risks involved.