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Monday, 12 December 2011 08:17

Controversial Scratch Card Company Forced to Delist

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DM Plc, a popular and controversial scratch card company, will be delisted by its founder after being on the Stock Exchange in 2004.

The founder of a company specialising in direct marketing and scratch cards will take the group private after receiving £20m in pay, dividends and acquisition fees over the past seven years. Adrian Williams has exercised his option to acquire over 17 million DM shares owned by Hugh Villiers, expected to reach resolution on or around 21st December 2011.

The scratch card company was investigated earlier this year by the Office of Fair Trading following claims that their marketing practices were misleading. DM Plc had engaged in the distribution of scratch cards as inserts in magazines and players were given the impression that they had actually won something – when in fact what they revealed was simply the opportunity to purchase something else. The OFT also found that DM Plc had downplayed the cost of calling premium numbers to check on prizes. As a result, the company was forced to withdraw from certain kinds of promotional work and their turnover took a hit.

This once again affirms the point that has often been made on this site: as players, we need to careful about where we play and which companies we deal with. A huge scratch card bonus will be useless if the company then refuses to pay out winnings or shuts down. Scratch cards are supposed to be light-hearted fun, but there’s no fun in being misled or swindled. A reputable company is licensed in a jurisdiction with an independent regulatory body and if the company has been operating for years, so much the better.

You can have your bonus and play it too – you just need to choose wisely.