A radio advertisement for Bar One Racing stated:
“The Galway Festival is back with a bang. While you enjoy the action Bar One Racing.com is ready with best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing. Tons of extra value daily. Bar One Racing.com Number 1 for the Galway Festival. T&C's apply over 18's. please gamble responsibly. See gamblingcare.ie”
The complainant considered that the claim to offer best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing was misleading as they were able to source better odds with other bookmakers.
The advertisers said that ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ was an offer whereby a customer who chose to take a price on a horse, was offered a best odds guarantee, meaning that if the horse returns a Starting Price greater than the price the customer chose when placing the bet, they would pay the better price to the customer, up to a maximum amount, so that the customer could avail of better value from the offer.
They said that there was no reference or inference that they were the best overall price at any stage, rather it related to the price the customer chose to take compared to the Starting Price from the return at the racetrack. They provided a copy of the terms and conditions of the offer for information -
• Applies to UK & Irish Horse Racing only unless otherwise stated.
• Applies to both single & multiple bets.
• Does not apply to Antepost bets, Tote Bets, or bets on International racing.
• We reserve the right to exclude selected customers from receiving certain promotions.
• The maximum increase per bet or per race as a result of Best Odds Guaranteed is capped at €/£10,000. For Example, if a Multiple bet at original odds returned €/£20,000, but with Best Odds Guaranteed applied to better odds, the bet returned, €/£36,000, then the return would be capped at £30,000, owing to the €/£10,000 maximum bonus applied.
• We reserve the right to restrict, amend or void bets for any customers thought to be deliberately abusing, or operating multiple accounts to manipulate this offer.
• Applies to Online & Mobile bets only.
• Bar One Racing rules apply.
The Executive sourced information on the use of ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ by bookmakers, noting that it was a practice within the industry whereby bookmakers offered a promotion which enabled a customer to place a bet at a price knowing that if their bet won and the starting price was higher, they would be paid out at the higher starting price.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the response from the advertiser. The Committee considered that it was more appropriate to deal with this matter by way of a statement, as provided for in the ASAI Complaints Procedures.
The Committee noted that the complainant had considered that the claim was a comparative claim against other operators, whereas the advertisers said that the claim was in relation to an offer they provided to customers to offer them their best odds.
The Committee noted the advertisement referenced that terms and conditions applied and these made no reference to other operators or to comparisons.
The Committee also noted the information sourced by the Executive that the use of the betting phrase “best odds guarantee” was an industry wide offer and promotional practice. They acknowledged that various sports and associated activities had phrases and narrative terms particular to them and considered that it was reasonable to expect consumers to familiarise themselves with fundamentals before engaging in the activities. However, where media that target a wide audience who may not be familiar with racing terms is used, the Committee considered that the advertising should clarify who the best odds referred to.