Sportsbet fined for displaying illegal gambling advertisements

Australian operator Sportsbet has been hit with an AUS$10,000 (£5350) fine from New South Wales’ authorities after being convicted of displaying illicit gambling advertisements on its website.

The advert in question displayed cartoon depictions of two male characters with their thumbs up, alongside the text: “Refer a Friend – Get a $100 Bonus Bet for every friend you refer to join sportsbet.com.au (excl. VIC, NSW, WA & SA) Terms and Conditions.”

The investigation was carried out by Liquor & Gaming NSW, a division within the Department of Industry which oversees the development, implementation and integrity of the overall regulatory framework with regard to alcohol and gaming across New South Wales.

The state’s law prevents operators from creating advertisements that display “any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account)”

Paddy Power Betfair-owned Sportsbet are set to pay the fine, plus an additional $7300 in legal costs as ordered by the New South Wales’ Magistrate. The new fine, according to the authorities, is hoped to act as a deterrent for all gambling operators in ensuring that they are compliant with state laws.

The ruling detailed: “Under new laws that came into effect in July 2018, wagering operators found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble face fines of up to $55,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.”

The Magistrate noted that “the NSW Parliament has increased penalties for illegal gambling advertising, and this raised the need for general deterrence.”

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