The Rules for the Marketing of Bonuses

Date 25 maj. 2012
Download PDF version PDF

 

With particular reference to the purpose of consumer protection of the Danish Gambling Act, the area of license holders’ marketing and offering of bonuses has the Danish Gambling Authority’s (“DGA”) attention. It is the DGA’s current assessment that part of the marketing and offering of bonuses are against the rules.

 

In this connection, please find some advice on the rules for the marketing and offering of bonuses below: 


The Rules for Bonuses

The rules for bonuses are contained in the consolidated acts of land-based betting, online betting and online casino, respectively. The provisions of all three consolidated acts are identical and stipulate the following:

In the event that the license holder offers the player a bonus for participating in gaming, all terms must be disclosed in a clear and distinct manner and in direct link with the offer. Once the terms have been met, payment of a bonus to the player must take place at once.

 

Subsection 2. A bonus may not be granted to individual players on terms which differ from terms granted to other players.

 

Subsection 3. The player must be given a minimum of 60 days to fulfil any conditions which might be attached to the payment of a bonus.

 

The provisions are punishable by fine.


When have Terms been disclosed in a clear and distinct Manner?

The requirement that the terms of a bonus must be disclosed in a clear and distinct manner generally implies that any reservations, conditions or limitations must be correct, clearly phrased and relevant. The requirement that the terms of an offer must be clear tightens in connection with material limitations of an offer, or if it relates to products with an obscure price structure and/or terms of an agreement.

In general, it must be disclosed if there are any further costs which must be paid in order to obtain the bonus, e.g. if the player is obligated to have a turnover (play) for the amount a certain number of times.

 

The player must be given the possibility to determine the benefits of the bonus and the disadvantages of any terms or limitations that might be attached to the offer on a fair and well-informed basis prior to a transaction.

 

The requirement of distinctness implies that any terms, conditions, reservations, limitations etc. must be disclosed so as to appear with the same level of distinctness as the offer itself.


When have Terms been disclosed in direct Link with the Offer?

The requirement that the terms be in direct link with the offer implies that the consumer must be able to understand the terms, immediately and without difficulties, before an agreement on a bonus is made.


In principle, this means that the terms must be available concurrently with the marketing and through the same medium.

In principle, however, the requirement that the terms be distinct and directly linked applies regardless of the medium of marketing.

 

In order to secure transparency so that the player may make a decision to make or not to make a payment on a fair and well-informed basis, the requirement that the terms be linked must in principle be fulfilled in a marketing situation as well as in a purchase situation.

 

When it comes to the marketing and offering of bonuses, it is, as a rule, not sufficient to merely refer the player to a website for further information on the terms and conditions of the offer.

 

Volatile media, e.g. TV

It is of the essence that the advertisement, including comments regarding bonuses, is described in a clear, loyal and well-balanced manner as regards benefits and disadvantages which consequently must be marketed with the same level of distinctness.


Traditional marketing, e.g. an advertisement in a daily newspaper

In an advertisement in e.g. a newspaper, it is not sufficient to refer to a website on which the complete terms and conditions of the offer may be found. The terms and conditions of the offer must appear of the advertisement itself.


Electronic marketing, e.g. internet and emails

The requirement that the terms be directly linked is fulfilled when the information appears directly from the website or email. According to the circumstances, it may also be acceptable to be referred to retrieve the terms and conditions of the offer through the same medium, but only by a single click where the complete terms and conditions of the offer must be clearly expressed. The Danish Gambling Authority will attach importance to the offer being described clearly, loyally and well-balanced in the first presentation, just as any terms or conditions of the offer must be clearly stated.   


Marketing via text message

The requirement that the terms be directly linked may be fulfilled by referring the consumer to a voicemail or to send a text message to an indicated number for the purpose of receiving yet another text message including the terms. This service must be free or, at the most, imposed a regular standard rate. As before, by making use of this communication form, the offer itself must be described clearly, loyally and well-balanced in the first presentation as regards benefits and disadvantages.

 

Interpretation of the Provisions

According to the assessment of the Danish Gambling Authority, the rules on bonuses must be interpreted in accordance with practice pursuant to the Danish Marketing Practices Act, Section 9 on promotion activities which is monitored by the Consumer Ombudsman.


The Danish Marketing Practices Act, Section 9, reads as follows:

Section 9. Any promotion activities, including premiums, trading stamps, trading and bonus systems, prize competitions and the like must be marketed in such a way that the conditions of the offer are clear, distinct and easily available to the consumer. No material information, including information about the value of any additional services that might exist which might noticeably distort the consumer’s financial behaviour may be excluded.



If you have any questions or require additional information on the Act on Gaming, please contact Claus Molbech Bendtsen, attorney, cmb@mwblaw.dk, Pernille Nørkær, attorney, pno@mwblaw.dk, Kim David Lexner, Junior Associate, kdl@mwblaw.dk or Maria Thomsen, Junior Associate, mth@mwblaw.dk.

 

The above does not constitute legal counselling and Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen does not warrant the accuracy of the information. With the above text, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen has not assumed responsibility of any kind as a consequence of a reader’s use of the above as a basis for decisions or considerations.