An ad for an American lottery has been banned for being misleading and failing to tell gamblers that the prizes were subject to US taxes.
Formerly World Lottery Club, the ad promoted entry to the US Mega Millions lottery in July this year, claiming a Mega Million $256 million jackpot and that “Mega Millions has an opening jackpot of $15 million with no cap. It makes the world’s biggest lottery winners!”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad didn’t make it clear that LottoHo was offering players the chance to bet on the outcome of the jackpot rather than participate in it.
Annexio, who trades as LottoGo, argued that it was “industry practice” to advertise potential prize amounts pre-tax and that it wasn’t possible for them to know the tax status of players. They also claimed that the ad made it clear that tax and other deductions will be made from the winnings.
In addition, Annexio stated that the website made it clear to players that they were betting on the outcome of lotteries rather than actually participating them.
— LottoGo.com (@LottoGoCom) July 4, 2018
The ASA argued: “Because consumers were unlikely to understand from the ad as a whole that they were being offered the opportunity to bet on the outcome of a lottery via a gambling operator, rather than participate in the lottery itself, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
“We told LottoGo.com to make clear, as soon as prize funds were quoted, the extent to which winnings may be subjected to deductions. Furthermore, they must make clear that consumers were not being offered the opportunity to participate in a lottery, but to bet on its outcome.”