Premium rate phone regulator Icstis has imposed a £30,000 fine over a competition on Channel 4 show Deal Or No Deal.
It found that entrants to the show’s viewers’ competition did not have an equal chance of winning, making it ‘intrinsically unfair’.
Early callers to the competition on the hit show, presented by Noel Edmonds, had more of a chance of being selected than later callers.
Service provider iTouch UK Ltd has been ordered to pay the fine.
Icstis also complained that although viewers were invited to call a premium rate number to enter a competition to win one of three sums of money, programme-makers already knew which cash prize would be won.
Viewers were shown three sealed boxes and informed that there was an amount of money hidden in each box, such as £2,000, £3,000 and £10,000.
But Icstis said: “It was the opinion of the executive that at the point of calling viewers will consider that any one of the three amounts is available to be won and will enter the competition on this basis.
“However, as the show is pre-recorded, at the time when the invitation to call takes place, the programme makers are already aware of which cash prize will be won.
“Therefore, whilst viewers are entering to win any one of the three cash prizes, in reality the winning amount has already been selected. For these reasons, it was the opinion of the executive that a breach … of the code had occurred.”