The New South Wales (NSW) Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has fined Ladbrokes Australia and Neds a record $207,500 penalty for presenting wagering inducements to New South Wales residents.
The fee is New South Wales’ largest gambling fine and follows the authorities recent crackdown on gambling regulations having also fined gaming machine technician Riad Allam and machine seller Justin Layden $100,000 last month.
Ladbrokes, which owns Neds, was fined in Downing Centre Local Court for airing a total of six adverts adverts (four Ladbrokes and two Neds advertisements) that ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018.
The advertisements offered bonus bets for a smaller deposit to new betting accounts, such as a deal to ‘Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets’.
In a statement issued yesterday, NSW’s Liquor & Gaming assistant director of compliance, Dimitri Argeres commented: “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.”
According to the NSW Betting and Racing Act, it states that it is an offence to publish a gambling advertisement that includes any inducement to participate or participate frequently, in any gambling activity.
Under the current New South Wales law, wagering operators who are found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble, face fines of up to $110,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted. As of right now no directors have been punished and only a fine has been given.
Ladbrokes Australia and Neds do have the right to appeal the fine if they wish to do so.