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Tabcorp fined in NSW over gambling inducement promotion

| By Robert Fletcher
Australia’s Tabcorp has been ordered to pay a fine of AU$15,000 (£7,940/€9,164/US$9,717) for breaching advertising and promotion rules in New South Wales (NSW).
Tabcorp fined NSW

Tabcorp advertised a promotion on its website that included an inducement to participate in gambling. The advert could be seen by anyone who visited the website, whether they had an account with Tabcorp or not.

According to Tabcorp, this was the result of an internal failing. NSW law states that adverts of any kind that offer an inducement to gamble are not permitted.

As the advert was viewable by all website visitors, it was deemed to be in breach of NSW regulations. The Downing Centre Local Court issued a $15,000 fine to Tabcorp as a result.

“Tabcorp is a large corporation and it is our expectation that an operator of this scale has strong internal controls and demonstrates greater vigilance to prevent members of the public being exposed to gambling inducements,” Liquor & Gaming NSW executive director of regulatory operations Jane Lin said.

“In many cases gambling promotions can be legally offered to betting account holders who, unlike the general public, have made a conscious decision to open an account and have expressly consented to receive this information.

“However, wagering operators can’t advertise or promote inducements such as offers of increased odds or bonus bets to entice people to open a betting account or to gamble more frequently.”

Alongside a ban on ads that offer an inducement to participate in a gambling activity, NSW also prohibits inducements to open betting accounts, refer friends to open accounts, keep a betting account open or consent to receive gambling advertising.

Operators that breach these rules face a maximum penalty of $100,000. Individuals that publish prohibited gambling advertising can also be fined up to $11,000.

Second fine this month for Tabcorp

The fine comes after Tabcorp this month was also penalised in Victoria. However, the earlier fine was far greater, with the operator having to pay out $1.0m.

This fine, a record in the state of Victoria, related to Tabcorp’s conduct amid a system outage in 2020. Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS) went down during that year’s Spring Racing Carnival.

State regulator the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission hit out at Tabcorp over its actions. It said the operator did not voluntarily provide adequate information about the outage and criticised its conduct during the investigation.

The regulator also referenced Tabcorp’s “repeated failure” to comply with directions. As such, it said the case warranted a record fine.

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