Authorities in New South Wales are continuing a crackdown on illegal gambling and related activities, after betting operator PointsBet was fined Aus$20,000 (£10,940/€12,690/US$14,300) for breaching state law regarding the use of sign-up bonuses in an advert.
The ad appeared alongside the PointsBet mobile app in the Apple App Store and featured a bonus offer for new depositing customers. The advert stated: ‘ALL 40+ METRO RACES RUN 2ND UP TO $100 BACK’.
The New South Wales Betting and Racing Act makes it an offence to publish “a gambling advertisement that offers any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account)”.
Considering the evidence put forward by Liquor & Gaming NSW, Magistrate G J Still said at a hearing at Downing Centre Local Court on April 9 that while the ad may not have been easy to find on the App Store, it had the potential to drive people in the direction of PointsBet's offering.
PointsBet pleaded guilty to offering consumers in the state illegal inducements to gamble and accepted a fine of Aus$20,000. Operators found guilty of promoting such inducements can be hit with fines of up to Aus$55,000 and company directors can also face criminal prosecution.
“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” Liquor & Gaming NSW’s director of compliance operations, Sean Goodchild, said.
“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm so any breaches are taken seriously, which is reflected in the fine.”
Sportschamps was fined Aus$2,500 and ordered to pay $3,250 in legal costs after it published a bonus offer in an advert, while Sportsbet was fined Aus$10,500 for an ad that offered customers a Aus$100 bonus bet for every friend they referred to its website.