Sports betting agencies fined for illegal advertising in NSW crackdown

Sports betting agencies Sportschamps and Pointsbet have been convicted and fined for illegal gambling advertising in a blitz on online gaming companies launched by the NSW government.

The crackdown by Liquor & Gaming NSW, follows the state government passing laws last year making promoting inducements to gamble subject to fines of up to $55,000 per offence and making company directors open to criminal charges.

The infringing Sportschamps’ advert which cost the company $2,000 in the NSW courts

Mumbrella understands the NSW government agency is planning a number of other prosecutions against betting agencies.

Sportschamps was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $3,250 in legal costs for breaching the state’s gaming laws prohibiting advertising free gambling offers following an advertisement on the website on 5 July 2018.

The advertisement read: “Matched first time deposit bonus up to $50 – Deposit for the first time and we’ll match your deposit with Bonus Cash, up to $50. Keep the winnings from Bonus Cas (sic)” accompanied a button close by that said: “Sign up for free”.

In handing down judgement, NSW chief magistrate Graeme Henson took into account Sportschamps’ submission that no one signed up for the offer.

In PointsBet’s case the company was convicted and fined $20,000 after pleading guilty to posting illegal illegal inducements to gamble.

The prosecution followed an investigation by the state regulator into an advertisement that appeared alongside the PointsBet app in the Apple App Store.

The advertisement offered ‘ALL 40+ METRO RACES RUN 2ND UP TO $100 BACK’ if participants opened a betting account.

Magistrate G J Still accepted that the advertisement may not have been easy to find on the Apple App Store but said it had the potential to drive people in the direction of PointsBet online.

Liquor & Gaming NSW director of compliance operations, Sean Goodchild, said PointsBet’s advertisement had clearly offered an inducement to gamble.

“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” Mr Goodchild said.

“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm so any breaches are taken seriously, which is reflected in the $20,000 fine.

“Under new laws that came into effect in July 2018, wagering operators, if found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble face fines of up to $55,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.”


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