The gambling regulator of New South Wales (NSW), Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&GNSW), has secured court action against online bookmaker Bet Right.
Amidst a wave of reform across Australia’s most populous state, Bet Right has been fined AUS$20,000 by L&GNSW for illegally offering boosted odds.
NSW has strictly enforced marketing laws which prohibit certain advertising and promotions practices which may be seen as inviting customers to bet. These include boosted odds – as in the case of Bet Right – free bets, bonus cash prizes and ‘refer a friend’ promotions.
Jane Lin, Executive Director Regulatory Operations, said: “L&GNSW has actively engaged with online bookmakers and provided guidance on their compliance obligations, so there is simply no excuse for wagering companies to advertise inducements and they can be assured that the risk of being caught and prosecuted is extremely high.
“In April, we issued 14 penalty infringement notices totaling $210,000 to wagering company, Betr, which represents the largest ever fine issued to a wagering operator for offering inducements in NSW history.
“We will continue to monitor television, print and social media for this illegal advertising and advocate for the courts to issue higher penalties.”
The fine against Bet Right – which was handed down in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court following the L&GNSW’s investigation – is the latest in a series of fiscal enforcement actions by the regulator.
As mentioned by Lin, Betr, the new market entrant backed by investment from News Corp and Las Vegas-based Tekkorp Capital, was fined the largest ever figure in the state’s history at $210,000.
This followed a $40,000 fine against SportsChamps, which also had to pay $14,000 to cover costs. This marked the third time the firm had been subject to regulatory action following a $2,500 charge in 2019 and $2000 charge in 2018. Meanwhile, Australia’s largest operator Sportsbet was fined twice in 2021, paying $135,000 and $22,000.
NSW is currently in the process of overhauling its gambling legislation with new reforms, with a 16 member panel tasked with developing and coordinating the state’s roadmap for regulatory changes.
Chaired by former NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing Commissioner, Michael Foggo, the panel will evaluate how to reduce gambling harm and criminal activity and strengthen player protection policies.
On the other hand, the state government has spoken favourably by improved player protection measures implemented across the NSW betting sector, with 215 out of the 530 venues having already adopted the required policies ahead of a 1 September deadline.