Australia’s most popular and largest sports betting operator Sportsbet, has a conviction and a fine for using enticements in their gambling adverts. The illegal enticements were used on customers to lure their friends in to open accounts with Sportsbet.
Sportsbet Fined NZ$10,349 By NSW Government
Sportsbet, which is the Australian division of Paddy Power Betfair, has to pay a fine of AU$10,000 (NZ$10,349) by the New South Wales (NSW) government. The fine is for violating a ban which stops advertisements that push people to gamble by using attractive offers to target and entice them. Also, they need to pay AU$7,300 (NZ$7,555) for legal costs.
The case against Sportsbet was launched by Liquor and Gaming NSW, the state’s gambling watchdog, in July 2018. It came after they began an investigation into an advert published on Sportsbet’s site. It has two animated males with their thumbs up and text promoting players to invite a friend to join Sportsbet. If they successfully they would get an AU$100 (NZ$103) bonus for every successful referral.
Enticements to Induce Gambling Illegal Since July 2018
According to Liquor and Gaming NSW, this advert broke the rules prohibiting the use of language that induces gambling activities, including enticements to open a betting account with the operator. The regulatory body states clearly that bonus bet offers are illegal enticements, whether they come with a disclaimer or not.
The conviction against Sportsbet was appropriate, said Magistrate Jacqueline Trad. Furthermore, it is in an effort to protect local communities it would negatively affect by gambling enticements. The advertising rules came into effect in July 2018. They state that if a company has advertisements that had enticements to encourage gambling would face a fine of up to AU$55,000 (NZ$56,922). Furthermore, they also face the possibility of criminal prosecution for the company’s directors.
Sportsbet plead guilty to violating the NSW state’s regulations. The bookmaker has said that they accept the court’s decision and acknowledges that it failed to meet the state’s requirements.