The advertisements in question allegedly induced citizens of New South Wales to gamble and that’s a big no-no in New South Wales. Under New South Wales’ law, operators are strictly forbidden from, “inducing gambling,” through advertisements of any kind.
In this case, Ladbrokes was promoting their Oddsboost feature. Oddsboost, as the name indicates, allows punters to increase the odds of one of their daily wagers. While that’s considered basic marketing in most parts of the world, it’s inducing gambling in New South Wales.
In addition to the $35,000 fine, Ladbrokes is also on the hook for an additional $50,000 ($37,600 USD) for court costs.
While $85,000 in fees and fines might not be a big financial hit for Ladbrokes, it’s actually a pretty hefty fine by New South Wales standards. Other recent offenders, including Crownbet and Bet365, were fined only about $7,500 ($5,600 USD) for similar offenses.
The problem for Ladbrokes, however, is that this is not the first time the company has run afoul of laws governing gambling advertising in Australia’s most populous state.
Repeat offenses are not something that Liquor & Gaming NSW Deputy Secretary, Paul Newson takes lightly, as he indicated in an interview with BettingSite.com where he said:
It’s concerning that these sophisticated businesses continue to act irresponsibly by publishing advertising that risks causing or worsening problem gambling to boost profits. NSW gambling advertising laws restrict inducements to reduce the risk of problem gambling in the community.
Newson went on to suggest that further offenses could result in criminal charges for Ladbrokes executives.