ASA backs Marathonbet with margins over 0% Facebook Ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled in favor of Marathonbet after two Facebook ads complained about the operator's 0% margin requirement.

A Facebook post and paid Facebook ad posted on August 12, 2020 and October 11, 2020, respectively, showed Marathonbet's 0% margin requirement in some pre-match markets.

One claimant, who understood that a small margin could still apply, disputed whether the margin requirements in 0% were misleading.

In response, Marathonbet stated that its 0% margin requirement was supplemented with additional text explaining that the margin only applies to certain pre-match markets and that the exact margin would hover around 0%.

The operator claimed that the odds were offered as simple fractions, and when all the results of one match are added together, they do not necessarily add up to a whole number after decimal splitting.

However, Marathonbet stated that the odds offered were close to 0% as far as was practical in a market where there were many different potential outcomes and changing price points.

To demonstrate margin fluctuations, Marathonbet provided the ASA with multi-day timed odds for a single Champions League match on 15 August.

For bets on the result of the main game, the margin ranged from 0.0011% to 0.0052%. Taking a maximum of 0.0052% meant that if a client bet £200 on a home win, a draw and an away win at proportional bet levels, they would be guaranteed a £199.99 profit, not £200, the report said. A.S.A.

The regulator felt that while some betting experienced consumers would understand the stated 0% margin, consumers in general would understand that they would likely receive more favorable odds by choosing an option that gives them a 0% margin.

The ASA also argued that odds expressed in decimal places to three or more decimal places were more likely to cause more confusion among consumers.

After consulting with the UK Gambling Commission, the ASA concluded that the advertisement was not misleading and that no further action was required.

The regulator wrote: “We recognized that it may be useful for some consumers to know the margin of a bookmaker in order to calculate the best possible chance of profiting from their bets by obtaining the best odds.

“However, we felt that, in practice, consumers were unlikely to be significantly misled by the difference between the 0% margin and the 0.0052% margin.

"Because we believed that markup fluctuations would not mislead consumers, we felt that the claims were sufficient to qualify the 0% heading."