The London-listed interactive television gambling firm Netplay TV was in the UK headlines again over the weekend, but not in a good way. The UK newspaper Mail on Sunday reported that free scratch cards produced by the company are under investigation following complaints that the cards breach rules for premium rate phone lines and could even break the Gambling Act.
NetPlay spokesmen responded by saying that all of the group's games receive prior copy advice from all the necessary regulatory bodies, and all of its promotions comply with the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)'s requirements for ‘free' entry claims.
The ASA states ‘free' entry' has to be less than current public rates of postage. Abstract Games charges 30 pence postage, less than a first class stamp, the company said, adding that it was assisting Phone Pay Plus, the United Kingdom's premium rate ruling body, with its planned review of the premium rate subscription industry "which is welcomed and supported by the company."
With current promotions, entrants can either play for ‘free' by post or, if they wish to find out immediately what prize they have won, they can choose to call or send a text message which is charged at a lower rate than the minimum prize available, a company statement stressed.
The Mail on Sunday report claimed that Netplay TV is the subject of an inquiry by government authorities because one of its promotional scratch cards claims to offer a free guaranteed prize, but entry requires participants to send 30p to cover the cost of NetPlay's postage. Other allegations are that the prizes offered on Netplay's "Fast Cash" card are considerably less than the impression given on the card that rewards include major cash or luxury goods.