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Sportsbet Has Been Fined $135,000 For Illegal Gambling Ads In Australia

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Sportsbet Has Been Fined $135,000 For Illegal Gambling Ads In Australia

Sportsbet has copped a hefty fine after the Office of Liquor & Gaming NSW found they had breached rules on gambling advertising.

The betting company was pulled into a Sydney court last week to answer allegations it issued 'prohibited' adverts to customers.

Sportsbet was accused of running the program from October last year to March this year.

The Office of Liquor & Gaming NSW revealed in Downing Centre Court that Sportsbet account holders 'received prohibited gambling advertisement via emails from Sportsbet after withdrawing consent to receive direct marketing'.

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Sportsbet was also slammed for having a 'confusing functionality of the unsubscribe option' and many customers weren't able to change their subscription preferences easily.

It was also caught out using its social media accounts to issue 'prohibited gambling advertisements referring to Treasure Punt'.

It's an offence under the Betting and Racing Act 1998 to 'publish a gambling advertisement that offers any inducement to take part, or take part frequently, in any gambling activity, including an inducement to open a betting account'.

It's also illegal to provide gambling adverts to a customer when they have said they want to unsubscribe from being contacted.

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Sportsbet ended up being fined $135,000 for the breaches.

Liquor & Gaming's Compliance Director Marcel Savary sent a warning to other betting agencies they will come down hard on them if they break the rules.

He said in a statement: "So far this year Liquor & Gaming NSW have started more than double the number of prosecutions compared to last year with 119 different counts of breaching the provisions brought against 14 operators, up from 31 counts against seven operators in 2020.

"Research by the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling in 2020 revealed the vast majority of the community is not happy with the current style of wagering advertising, with 81 per cent believing gambling advertising increases the risk of people developing a gambling problem.

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"Participation in most forms of gambling in NSW is declining but online betting is increasing with 70 per cent of all sports betting and 37 per cent of race betting now carried out online.

"Liquor & Gaming NSW consistently expresses concerns to industry about gambling advertising and will continue to monitor compliance with these laws and take strong action for serious and blatant offending."

Sportbet was fined $22,000 earlier this year for for breaching the advertising restrictions.

Featured Image Credit: Sportsbet

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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