Last week the Australian Communications and Media Authority announced the blocking of close to 775 illegal gambling websites from Australian players. Highway Casino, Online Casinos Australia and Vave were added to the list for violating the Interactive Gambling Act 2002. ACMA found six more illegal service providers in February.
The leading Australian sports and racing betting agency BetChoice, which is officially known as Unbet, has been fined $60,000 (AU$39,660), plus expenses after it was found that the operator offered a number of illegal gambling incentives and promotions to residents in New South Wales.
The Penalty Imposed by Sydney Courts
The Liquor and Gaming NSW that regulates all gaming activities, wagering, alcohol, and clubs registered in New South Wales, announced the fine issued by a Sydney court on May 22 at the conclusion of an extensive investigation into the Unibet promotions.
According to the findings of the investigation, each promotion featured a number of incentives in the form boost odds and price pushes to encourage players to participate in gambling activities and to register for new account.
The NSW Betting and Racing Act defines a offence as the publication of gambling ads that includes any type of inducement for registering or regularly participating in any gambling activity including inducements to opening betting accounts.
Jane Lin executive director for regulatory operations and enforcement at Liquor & Gaming NSW said that betting operators must ensure “that all advertising complies” with NSW gambling advertising laws. Lin said that because inducements are proven to increase the risk of gambling harm “any violations” will be taken seriously.
This is not the first fine for BetChoice
In the past, the company, which prides itself in offering “great odds, a great customer experience and a variety of options for customers to choose in terms of their betting preferences”, has been fined for breaking betting regulations.
In July 2020 the Australian operator was fined AU$48,000 (US$31,730). This came at the conclusion of a similar investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW. Unibet admitted all three charges on July 15. The company also had to pay $3,900 in legal fees.
In 2019, Unibet was fined another $15,000. for violating the betting laws in a similar way, by offering advertisements that were designed to persuade people to use their gambling products.