Free bets and the ASA

In News, by on Feb 24, 2019

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) represents a self-regulatory organization of the UK advertising industry. Even though ASA doesn’t have the power to enforce legislation, they have a strong reputation and their code is respected by most legal entities in the United Kingdom and gambling companies are not an exception.

In the recent period, there are many ads in the UK (and around the globe) offering so-called free bets and free bonuses. This definitely sounds like a tempting offer, but the fact is that none of these offers are completely free. It’s a fact, quite a few players may find such ads misleading. This is the reason why ASA has decided to create a guide and campaign that tries to make sportsbook avoid free bet bonus offers.

What are free bets?

Free bets represent a specific kind of bet which allows punters to place a bet without investing any of their money. So you understand, you are betting on bookie's expense. As a player, all you have to is to choose a bet, and the sportsbook will cover the stake, and you get a chance to keep the winnings except for the stake. Keep in mind that some bookmakers allow players to use free bets on specific sports or events.

It is imperative to read the terms and conditions associated with free bets because every offer is different. For example, there are free bet offers that come with wagering requirements (rollover conditions). Some of them can be used for a limited time. There are also situations when the bookmaker requires further bets to get a chance to withdraw your winnings.

As you can see, free bets and bonuses can be misleading in some cases, and ASA is right at least to some extent, even though their campaigns are quite aggressive. To avoid problems and potential penalties, many online sportsbooks are using a simple, yet effective solution – they are merely renaming these bonuses. Instead of offering free bets, some of them have signup bonuses. These bonuses are created for new players. It's worth mentioning that in some cases, these bonuses are also known as no deposit bonuses. As the name suggests, players don't have to place a deposit to use the bonus.

In addition to signup bonuses, online bookies are replacing free bets with cashback offers. These are specially designed bonuses which are known as no-risk bets too. Players that are planning on using these offers can pick an event, place a bet and wait for the outcome. If their selection wins, they will get their reward. In case the selection has lost, they will get their money back or at least some percentage of their initial stake.

It's good that organizations like ASA in the UK are trying to regulate this market. Online casinos and bookmakers should definitely avoid pushy and misleading advertisements. Also, they should provide a detailed explanation for all their bonus offers including free bet offers.

Free Spins changing to extra spins

Likewise, the number of free spins bonuses hasn't really changed, but the naming of them has. Now to be classified as a free spins bonus, no deposit is required, and this is what is typically expected of casino players. Free spins imply already that you don't need to make a deposit when most online casinos actually required this. It was a misleading term, and it has changed to become bonus spins or extra spins. Even additional spins are deceptive if you have to pay for them. Overall players should merely focus on the top online casinos to find reliable bonuses. The hunt for more and more freebies might lead you down the path to finding the dodgiest of casinos.

Having said and pointed out some of the pitfalls from online casinos offering free spins and no deposit bonuses to players, whether they are newbies or long time players. These such enticements are a way for the casino and the player to try out new and exciting games at the expense of the house and for the casinos to see which games perform the best. This is a win-win situation for everybody, so long as the players fully understand the T&C's attached, alongside the wagering requirements and time frame from which a player needs to use the free spins & bonuses!

So go out there and just enjoy yourself with all the new games being introduced to the online market place each month, keeping you enthralled and what better way is they to take you away from today’s hustle & bustle from society.