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Tabcorp found guilty of illegal new accounts promotion

Australian gambling operator Tabcorp has been found guilty of illegally luring punters to open new accounts via a promotion published both online and in the newspaper.

The promotion, published in August 2015, offered bonus bets and other rewards as inducements. The company was brought to court because it is illegal for bookies to publish ads tempting NSW residents with inducements to gamble or open betting accounts.

Tabcorp was found guilty on all three counts in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on December 16. The case, which follows a string of recent prosecutions of betting agencies including Unibet, bet365, Ladbrokes, ClassicBet and Sportsbetting.com.au, has been adjourned for sentencing until February 2017.

Tabcorp was involved in another run-in with marketing authorities as recently as November.

Australia’s Standards Bureau (ASB) ruled that a TV advert, which featured a man returning home from a camping and fishing trip with a few mates, contravened Section 2.8 of the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communications Code that prohibits gambling marketing pitches from portraying, condoning or encouraging ‘excessive participation in wagering activities’.

The ASB said it received complaints about the advert because it glorified gambling and suggested that the men had spent the entire weekend gambling and lying about it to their partners. Tabcorp responded by saying that it promoted the variety of TAB racing in a ‘light-hearted and humorous manner’.

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