Sportsbet is guilty of violating the rules of advertising

Sportsbet was fined A$135,000 by Liquor and Gaming New South Wales, Australia. The company was found guilty of violating the rules of advertising gambling and betting products and services.

According to the investigation done by Liquor and Gaming NSW, Sportsbet sent promotional messages to the customers who didn’t give their consent to receive email advertising.

The Betting and Racing Act 1998 says that a licensed betting service provider must not provide a gambling advertisement directly to a betting account holder by email, SMS text message or other direct means,

  • unless the holder has given express and informed consent to getting gambling advertisements directly by that means and has not withdrawn the consent;
  • unless the holder is provided with a means by which he/she can easily unsubscribe from receiving gambling ads.

Liquor and Gaming New South Wales started an investigation and found out that many companies ignored their regulations. The number of prosecutions has doubled compared to the last year. Mr. Savary, Liquor & Gaming's Compliance Director, said: “So far this year 119 different counts of breaching the provisions brought against 14 operators, up from 31 counts against seven operators in 2020”.

One of such companies is Sportsbet. Liquor and Gaming NSW claimed, “Sportsbet account holders received prohibited gambling advertisement via emails from Sportsbet after withdrawing consent to receive direct marketing. Repeated attempts to unsubscribe were unsuccessful due to the confusing functionality of the unsubscribe option”.

While the agency did not explain the nature of these advertisements, it said that it is a breach to post a gambling ad that encourages users to participate in any gambling activity, and induces to register a new betting or casino account.

It is the second time Sportsbet was fined. Earlier this year, the company got a $22,000 penalty for betting advertising breaches.

According to the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling Research “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.”

This regulation agency has expressed its intention to continue to monitor compliance with the gambling regulation laws and take strong action for serious and blatant breaches.

Other Companies to breach regulations

Not only was Sportsbet who violated the state regulations, but there are some others including Topsport, home of online sports betting, which was fined A$60,000 in August. Tabcorp, an Australian gambling giant company, had to pay more than A$30,000 after they had published an inducement to play casino games or open a betting account on Instagram.

In Australia there are several Government-led programs and campaigns, for instance, Betiquette, Reclaim the Game, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, that focus on counteracting gambling advertising and supporting those at risk of gambling harm.

Liquor and Gaming New South Wales is an agency responsible for the regulation of liquor, wagering, gaming, registered clubs and the casino in New South Wales. It sits within the NSW Department of Customer Service.

Sportsbet is Australia’s largest online wagering company, owned by Flutter Entertainment.

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