The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has charged Ladbrokes Australia and Neds with a record $207,500 penalty for offering wagering incentives to New South Wales residents.
The gambling fine is New South Wales’ largest and follows a recent crackdown by the authorities on gambling regulations that also fined gaming machine technician Riad Allam and machine seller Justin Layden $100,000 last month.
Ladbrokes, who owns Neds, was fined by Downing Center Local Court for broadcasting a total of six ads (four Ladbrokes and two Neds ads) that ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018.
The advertisements offered bonus bets on new betting accounts for a smaller deposit, such as a deal to ‘ Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets.’
Dimitri Argeres commented in a statement issued Thursday by the NSW’s Liquor & Gaming assistant director of compliance: “Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population.
“In NSW such advertisements are restricted to registered betting account holders. This record fine should serve as a reminder that betting operators have an obligation to ensure their gambling advertising complies with NSW laws.
“Penalties of this magnitude are not easily absorbed into running costs.”
Under the NSW Betting and Racing Act, it states that publishing a gambling advertisement that contains some inducement to regularly gamble or engage in any gambling operation is an offence.
Under the new New South Wales statute, wagering companies found guilty of facilitating gambling inducements face fines of up to $110,000 per offence and company executives can be charged criminally. No directors were disciplined as of now and only a fine was issued.
Ladbrokes Australia and Neds are entitled to appeal the fine if they so wish.