The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has issued more than AU$100,000 (£56,604/€66,785/US$70,121) in fines to operators over the past week in response to illegal gambling inducements, and warned operators that higher fines could be on the way if behaviour does not change.
Online betting provider BetDeluxe was fined $70,000 by for publishing illegal inducements and was also ordered to pay $8,500 in legal costs.
BetDeluxe pleaded guilty yesterday (18 May) at Downing Centre Local Court to five offences that included 21 Facebook promotions for bonus bets on sports games and enhanced odds on horse racing.
Liquor & Gaming NSW noted this was the first time BetDeluxe had breached state rules on gambling inducements.
PointsBet was also fined a total of $35,000 for the same reason. PointsBet pleaded guilty to two advertisements that included an Instagram promotion to get $50 back in bonus bets.
Liquor & Gaming NSW said this inducement similar to those it offered in 2019 on the Apple App Store, promising $100 cash back on certain bets. This previous breach of state law led to PointsBet being fined $20,000.
In 2018, the NSW Government introduced new laws to significantly increase penalties for operators found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble, with maximum fines now set at $110,000 per offence for a corporation.
Liquor & Gaming NSW’s hospitality and racing chief executive Anthony Keon said that the regulator would continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to the publication of illegal gambling inducements, adding that higher fines could be issued out to reoffenders.
Since the laws came into effect in 2018, a total of seven operators have been prosecuted on multiple occasions – something Keon said was “completely unacceptable”.
“Clearly some of these operators think gambling inducements are just the cost of doing business, but they are wrong, and they are pushing their luck. We will continue to bring these matters before the courts and seek higher penalties that reflect community expectations.
“Prohibitions on gambling inducements are an important harm minimisation measure and the increase in maximum penalties, along with our continued prosecution action, should send a clear message to wagering operators about how seriously we view these matters.
“Reoffenders run the risk of the higher range penalties, and more scrutiny, so let me be clear that patterns of poor compliance are not worth the trouble.
Since 2015, Liquor & Gaming NSW has prosecuted 37 cases related to prohibited gambling advertising, resulting in over $642,500 in fines, with nine betting providers currently before the courts.
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