Betting operator Betchoice, trading as Unibet, was ordered to pay a $25,000 penalty for providing residents in New South Wales with illegal gambling inducements.
The sanction was issued by Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on 15 December after the operator was found to display an advertisement offering “Earn $50 CASH For Each Friend You Refer!” on the Unibet website in February 2019. And a separate ad on the November 2018 Canberra Times website promising’ Deposit $20, Bet $100.’
New South Wales law prevents operators from creating and displaying advertisements showing “any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account)”. Also approved betting account holders can be given any such promotions in NSW.
Sean Goodchild, Director of Compliance Operations at Liquor & Gaming NSW, clarified that the company had specifically offered opportunities to play or open a betting account.
“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” Goodchild said.
“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm so any breaches are taken seriously.
“Under new laws that recently came into effect, wagering operators found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble face fines of up to $110,000 per offence and company directors can be individually and criminally liable.”
The advertising in question claimed that customers should sign up free of charge to the site, while adding: “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)”