SkillOnNet Reprimanded by ASA over PlayOJO Adverts

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two of three complaints made against SkillOnNet. The complaints were related to a webpage, blog post, and three television adverts for its PlayOJO brand that were seen in September 2021.

The first of the criticisms was about the PlayOJO ‘Hot or Cold’ feature, which claimed to show players which games were on winning or losing streaks. Players were then encouraged to decide which games to play based on how it has paid out in recent times.

One complainant alleged that the adverts incorrectly implied that the feature suggested which games may be about to pay out, and this could, in turn, lead to financial, social or emotional harm. A second complaint challenged that three television adverts that featured tarot together with the Hot and Cold feature irresponsibly exploited the idea of luck and cultural beliefs about gambling.

In response, SkillOnNet said that the Hold or Cold feature was designed to inform players about how much money had been paid out recently by different online slots as well as to highlight those that had not paid out for a while.

According to the ASA, “They stated the feature allowed players to see the most and least profitable games and when their last big win was, based on real gameplay activity. They explained that ‘profitability’ was defined as whether the game had recently paid out more or less than the amount of bets/stakes put into the game.”

However, the ASA said that the webpage and blog post “gave the impression that the Hot or Cold feature had some effect on a player’s chances of success”. In regards to the TV adverts, it noted that there was on-screen text stating that the feature was no indicator of results or success but that this was “insufficient to override the overall impression” that it gave players control over games of chance.

However, the ASA rejected the idea that the PlayOJO television adverts exploited cultural beliefs or traditions about gambling and luck.

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