The Health Lottery has become the latest gambling industry body to be censured by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over posts made on its Facebook site.
A Facebook post on its social media feed in January asserted that “You know what they say, five chances to win is better than one, that’s why we run five weekly draws! What’s more, each draw has a jackpot of up to £100K- that means that there is a potential half a million pounds up for grabs week in week out!”
Further posts added that “Up to £500K can be won every week. That’s 5 draws per week each with up to £100K jackpot Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday … Still only £1 That’s half the price of Lotto! Play Now #Everybody Wins”.
Complainants to the ASA felt that both of the claims made by the Health Lottery were misleading and that the advertisements should not be allowed.
In its response, the Health Lottery said the statements that the jackpot in The Health Lottery was “up to £100K” and “up to 500K” were accurate and the purpose of the ad was to highlight that they operated five draws per week, each with a top prize of £100k, making it possible for members of the public to win up to £500k in total.
The Health Lottery added that prizes in society lotteries were tied to ticket sales as a result of the rules set out in s.99 of the Gambling Act 2005 and as such they were not allowed to state that there was a guaranteed £100k for every draw.
Section 99 of the 2005 Gambling Act stated that the maximum top prize that could be offered in a large society lottery was 10% of the proceeds of the lottery or £25,000, whichever was higher. The total proceeds of any single lottery were subject to an upper limit under s.99 of the Gambling Act, which currently stood at £4m.
They explained they had detailed discussions with the Gambling Commission about appropriate wording for their advertising and the way that prizes could be legitimately expressed.
In its ruling the ASA said that “We acknowledged that the references to the jackpots were preceded with “up to”, making it clear that the top jackpot amounts were not always available.
“However, we noted from the information provided by the Health Lottery that, although there had been winners of £100,000 in the past, there had been no winners of that amount since February 2015 when five weekly draws had been introduced.”
The ASA concluded that the advertisement was misleading and have ordered The Health Lottery to remove it from their social media.