Australia: Unibet fined AU$60,000 for illegal adverts in NSW

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Online betting platform Unibet, owned by Betchoice, has recently been slapped with a fine of AU$60,000 by Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW). The fine was reportedly handed after the operator was found guilty of offering illegal inducements to players in the state.

An investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW revealed that the betting firm was encouraging people to open betting accounts and participate in gambling activities through ‘price push’ offers also known as increased odds offer.

According to NSW Betting and Racing Act, advertising these kinds of inducement offers is considered illegal. During the hearing, the firm pleaded guilty to two offences under section 33H(1) of the Act and was fined AU$30,000 for each of them.

“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising. Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm, so any breaches are taken seriously,” said Jane Lin, Executive Director, Regulatory Operations & Enforcement, Liquor & Gaming NSW.

“Betchoice has a record of previous convictions and was fined AU$48,000 (US$31,730) in July 2021 for breaches of betting legislation. The advertisements in this most recent case were designed to entice people to engage with gambling products using special or enhanced odds, which is a breach of the legislation,” Lin added as quoted by iGaming Business.

Australia, in general, has been more active when it comes to penalising any form of illegal exposure related to betting in the country. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been striking down illegal betting websites at regular intervals, requesting the internet service providers (ISPs) to block them.

With the most recent request to ban three websites – Vave, Highway Casino and Online Casinos Australia – ACMA has so far banned 747 illegal offshore online gambling websites since November 2019.