Record fine for wagering company Betr over gambling advertisements

Home » Record fine for wagering company Betr over gambling advertisements
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Sports wagering company Betr has been fined $210,000 by Liquor & Gaming NSW for breaches of NSW’s wagering laws in its promotional material during its launch last year.

Betr offered 100-1 and 20-1 odds on major events including the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and NRL and AFL markets as part of its launch in October 2022. The odds were advertised in newspapers, on radio and television, and online.

Liquor & Gaming NSW reached the view that these advertisements breached NSW laws prohibiting the advertisement of any offer of an inducement to participate in a gambling activity, including an inducement to open a betting account or bet more frequently.

As a result, the regulator has issued 14 penalty infringement notices totalling $210,000 which Betr has elected to pay. The $210,000 in penalties represents the largest ever fine issued to a wagering operator for offering inducements in NSW.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, Jane Lin, said Betr was issued with a significant fine due to the regulator’s concerns that the conduct constituted significant breaches of the law.

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“This company tried to attract a new customer base and establish a significant market share with promotions that we consider crossed the line, using inducements that had the potential to cause harm to the community,” Ms Lin said.

“In many cases, such promotions can only be legally offered to betting account holders who, unlike the general public, have made a conscious decision to open an account and receive this information.

“Wagering operators can legally advertise their products in a variety of ways but they can’t advertise or promote inducements such as offers of enhanced odds or bonus bets to entice people to open a betting account.”

Betr voluntarily ceased the advertising campaign when contacted by Liquor & Gaming NSW. By Betr paying the penalty notices, the matter has now been finalised without a court process.

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It comes as wagering company SportChamps has been convicted of posting illegal gambling advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and its website, as a result of an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

In Downing Centre Local Court on Monday 27 March 2023, the company was fined $40,000 and ordered to pay $14,000 in costs for breaching NSW gaming laws. This is the third time SportChamps has been prosecuted, following a $2000 fine in 2018 and a $2500 fine in 2019.

The prosecution related to advertisements via the website and social media that offered cash prizes for games requiring membership, special odds and bonus cash prizes, free bets and a ‘refer a friend’ promotion.

“Gambling operators like SportChamps that try to get around these restrictions are acting unlawfully and increase the risks of gambling harms,” Ms Lin said.

“Offering free bets on Facebook and Instagram, including a refer a friend promotion, shows a complete disregard for the rules and the well-being of those in our community who didn’t consent to receive gambling advertising.”

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“Liquor & Gaming NSW has a zero-tolerance approach to the publication of illegal gambling inducements and we will continue to proactively monitor television, radio, print and online gambling advertising to ensure all providers are complying with the restrictions in the Betting and Racing Act 1998,” Ms Lin said.

A court may impose a maximum penalty of $110,000 (per offence) for a corporation and $11,000 for an individual who publishes a prohibited gambling advertisement, while each penalty notices carries a fine of $15,000 .

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