It seems no gambling ad goes unnoticed, and two sports betting agencies have found out the hard way what happens when your ads aren’t exactly aligned with the law.
Illegal advertising used to lure in gamblers in NSW has landed Unibet and Bet365 in hot water with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, with both pleading guilty to the alleged breaches.
A Unibet advertisement promoting “First greyhound bet refunds!” offered “bonus money” with a refund of up to $50 on a gambler’s first ever greyhound racing bet.
The company’s website also promoted a “deposit bonus”, “reward bonus” and “loyalty bonuses” when punters placed bets online.
Another promoted an “insured bet” and “first mobile bet refunds” offering cash refunds of up to $50 per loss on a first-ever mobile app bet worth $10 or more.
Magistrate Susan McIntyre said the breaches were blatantly apparent and it was hard to believe a company as big as Unibet ‘accidentally’ made the ads without understanding the law, subsequently slapping them with a $7500 fine.
Bet365 offered a “100 per cent matched amount as a bonus to bet with” of up to $200 for new clients who put $20 or more in their account.
It also advertised a “100 per cent bonus when you place a qualifying bet on your mobile or tablet”.
The company had argued the offers were not available in NSW, but on closer inspection, gaming inspectors got sneaky and tested the restrictions, thus proving NSW residents could most definitely get their mitts on the offer.
Bet365 was fined $5000 for the two breaches, and both agencies were ordered to pay the OLGR’s costs.
The law states wagering operators must not publish advertising that offers inducements for NSW residents to gamble.