William Hill has settled a mild controversy in the United Kingdom. A customer who was abusing the bonus system was banned from receiving any promotions during the FIFA World Cup, and the subsequent complaint was cleared by the country’s watchdog in favor of the company.
William Hill and the Banning Customers
The UK’s advertising watchdog has cleared iGaming and betting company William Hill from allegations of “deliberately and unjustifiably” banning a customer from promotions in its shops.
The case involved an individual who had been employing the so-called practice of “bonus-bagging,” which simply meant that they were depositing a minimum amount to benefit from promotions, which in pure numbers translated as £60 deposited to obtain £1,600 in playing funds.
At the beginning, the customer complained about an ad that was aired around the time of the FIFA World Cup held in Russia. The ad claimed that all users are eligible for two extra bet boots on all World Cup matches.
However, the customer had stopped getting those and lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), arguing that the body should investigate why such bonuses were no longer credited to customers, which was what the individual thought at the time.
In the ensuing explanations, it became known that William Hill had in fact warned the customer that their access to bonuses will be cut. This was made known to them on June 23, or two weeks ahead of the official airing of the broadcast.
Meanwhile, William Hill hasn’t been losing much sleep trying to secure a successful deal with Sweden’s Mr. Green.
Time to Solve a Conflict
In light of the developments, ASA agreed and accepted William Hill’s own point of view, confirming that the user had been made aware of his situation and therefore untruthfully lodging a complaint.
ASA commented on the restrictions and mentioned that not all users were entitled for the promotion either, although the boosts applied across all matches. In addition, the company considered that case-per-case restrictions cannot be used as the grounds of a complaint against the promotion specifically.
Meanwhile, William Hill have said that they would seek ways to upgrade the bonus system in a way that will negate all opportunities to abuse them. In their statement, the company also mentioned that they were “clearly happy with the ruling”.
Asked whether the practices of singling out accounts has been a random event, William Hill responded that they review accounts on per-cases basis and never suspend any aspect of the gaming experience unless the player’s actions merit it.
Naturally, in its history, William Hill has also been known to be on the wrong side. For example, in September the company aired a MarioKart 8 Trick ad which was slammed by ASA, which argued that the advertisement could potentially reach audience that is not of the gambling age yet.
William Hill, though, argued that the company had based its advertisement algorithms on Google and therefore relied on the search engine’s claim to target its audience and shield adolescents from harmful content.
The argument, while convincing, did not help to appease ASA which issued a fine. The latest ruling, though, has been a small victory.