Betting operator Betchoice, trading as Unibet, has been ordered to pay a penalty of $25,000 for offering illegal gambling inducements to residents in New South Wales.
The sanction was issued by Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 15 December after the operator was found to display an advert on the Unibet website in February 2019 offering “Earn $50 CASH For Each Friend You Refer!”, and a separate ad on The Canberra Times website in November 2018 which offered “Deposit $20, Bet with $100”.
New South Wales law prevents operators from creating and displaying advertisements that display “any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account)”. Any such promotions can only be offered in NSW to registered betting account holders.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Sean Goodchild explained that the operator had clearly offered inducements to gamble or to open a betting account.
“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” he 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.”
Earlier this year, Sportschamps was sanctioned for a deposit bonus promotion published on its site.
The advert in question stated that customers would be able to sign up to the site for free, while also adding: “Matched first time deposit bonus up to $50 – Deposit for the first time and we’ll match your deposit with Bonus Cash, up to $50. Keep the winnings from Bonus Cas (sic)”.