Last year, Liquor and Gaming NSW said that it responded to reports Rob Waterhouse was offering a ‘five daily boosts promotion’, in which players could receive improved odds on up to five bets per day, on his website RobWaterhouse.com and Twitter account.
The authority acknowledged that Waterhouse, traditionally an on-course bookmaker, was a newcomer to online betting, having expanded into the market during the shutdown of racecourse wagering during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
However, during a hearing at Downing Centre Local Court today (9 December), Waterhouse was charged with offences under the Betting and Racing Act 1998 relating to publishing prohibited gambling-related advertisements.
The maximum penalty for an individual charged with the offence of publishing a gambling advert containing a prohibited inducement is $11,000.
Waterhouse pleaded guilty and was handed the $4,500 fine in relation to the website ad, as it was promoting the opportunity to obtain increased or higher odds up to five times a day. Liquor & Gaming NSW also said Waterhouse was dealt with in relation to promoting the same ad on Twitter.
“The prospect of collecting more punters should not be an incentive to break the law; the law is there to help people keep their gambling under control,” Liquor and Gaming NSW executive director of investigations and enforcement, Valerie Griswold, said.
“Anyone struggling with their gambling habits is going to have a hard time resisting ads that offer multiple bet boosts.
“There’s a lot of competition for business at the moment, particularly in the online market which has doubled in size as other traditional forms of gambling have contracted.
“This is going to create an environment where betting service providers are vying for people’s business, so it’s important that advertisements don’t inadvertently encourage gambling harms in the process.”
Last month, Liquor and Gaming NSW also fined Flutter’s Australian brand Sportsbet
$135,000 for showing adverts with an inducement to bet and marketing to players who had opted out of receiving email communications.