altThe owners of sites including City Bingo and 888Ladies Bingo – Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd (a subsidiary group of 888 Holdings) – have recently had a complaint against them upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The particular site that generated the investigation was LuckyAcePoker – just one of several online poker and casino sites managed by the City Bingo parent company, which also includes Pacific Poker and Casino-on-Net. The complainant asked the ASA to investigate whether a recent advertisement that featured on a social networking site was misleading. The gentleman had seen an online offer stating that players could “Join now and get £10 free to play with!” However, after both him and his girlfriend joined the site and no bonuses were awarded, he contacted the Authority to complain.

Representatives from LuckyAcePoker said that, as with all their promotions, this particular offer was subject to clear, published terms and conditions, which are viewable on their website. The T’s and C’s state that only persons over the age of 18 who do not have any prior account with the promoter are eligible to receive the bonus reward. As the promoter in question is Cassava Enterprises, LuckyAcePoker said that this condition covered all Cassava-operated brands, including their own.

As both the complainant and his partner had previously registered accounts with other Cassava sites, LuckyAcePoker says that their details would have been checked against their system to ensure that players were not repeatedly claiming bonuses, and that in this instance, the bonus was not applicable to either player.

Whilst the ASA appreciated that this clause was included in the terms and conditions on the website, they pointed out that the advert made no reference to the existence of these T’s and C’s, and no information on where potential new players could find them. They also concluded that customers were likely to interpret the advert as meaning that the offer was available to ALL new players at the poker site. Therefore, the Authority decided to uphold the complaint, and ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, as well as recommending the company ensure that any future promotions clearly referenced any significant conditions.

As keen bingo players, have any of our readers ever felt misled by an online, radio, or printed advert relating to bingo, casino or poker sites? If so, what did you do about it? Perhaps you complained to the ASA, the press, or the site directly? Did you get a satisfactory result, or did your concerns fall on deaf ears?