Unibet fined $25,000 Australia for advertising violations
Betchoice, an Australian arm of Unibet, was recently fined $25,000 AUD ($17,000 USD) by a judge in New South Whales for illegally “inducing” gambling. The company’s rotten day in court serves as an example that gambling operator’s are being held to very high standards across the globe and that regulators are not shy about slapping fines on them – even when the situation appears quite absurd to the layman.
At the heart of the matter are several advertisements Betchoice ran on the Canberra Times website earlier this year. The text of the offensive ad read, “Earn $50 CASH For Each Friend You Refer!” while another read, “Deposit $20, Bet with $100″.
While these ads may seem pretty innocuous to the layman, they’re considered quite illegal under the NSW Betting and Racing Act which prohibits, “…any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).” The twist here is that this kind of offer would be considered all good if it ran on a Unibet site, but when the same ad runs on a website that’s open to everyone, it becomes illegal.
In a statement reported on by Intergameonline.com, Liquor and Gaming NSW director of compliance operations Sean Goodchild described the situation saying, “Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” Goodchild said.
“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm so any breaches are taken seriously.
“Under new laws that recently came into effect, wagering operators found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble face fines of up to $110,000 per offence and company directors can be individually and criminally liable.”
Though things could have gone worse for the company, the whole situation clearly illustrates the challenges faced by gambling operators in many parts of the world.