ASA finds “100% risk-free profit” matched betting claim misleading because although theoretically sound, the process was open to human error

A paid-for ad for the matched betting website Profit Squad, which appeared on the football forum northstandchat.com, stated, “NSC has teamed up with Joe who is one of the co-founders of Profit Squad. At Profit Squad they focus on helping their members to earn 100% risk-free profits via matched betting… If you don’t make at least £100 in your first few weeks, both me and Profit Squad will be shocked.” Under the heading “WHAT IS MATCHED BETTING?”, text stated “Matched betting is the easiest, safest way to make money from home. It’s basically the art of playing the bookies off against each other, using free bets and bonuses on a DAILY basis to generate steady 1-way profits without risking your own money.

The ASA noted that the system of taking advantage of promotional “free” bets offered by gambling operators known as matched betting theoretically eliminated the chance of losing a bet. However, it also noted that the process, which included meeting the requirements to unlock the “free” bets and manually placing the correct bets with separate gambling operators simultaneously while odds fluctuated, was long-winded and open to human error.

Along with the possibility of mistakes being made and a subsequent loss of money, the ASA also understood that in certain instances winnings were refused for various reasons such as “bonus abuse” and terms and conditions of offers not being followed. Because the ASA considered those were potential practical risks to the money consumers would place on bets using the service, it concluded that the claim “100% risk-free profits” was likely to mislead.

On a separate issue, the ASA did not uphold complaints that the ad was irresponsibly targeted on a football forum where it could be viewed by children because the football forum on which the ad appeared was likely to attract a predominantly adult audience. To read ASA Ruling on Profit Squad Ltd (1 February 2017), click here.