Tabcorp to pay $30,000 NSW advertising fine

By Owain Flanders

Tabcorp has been awarded a fine of AU$30,000 (US$22,000) by Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court after being found guilty of breaching New South Wales (NSW) gambling advertising law.

Liquor and Gaming NSW investigated accusations that Tabcorp was inducing people to gamble or open a betting account through advertising on Instagram.

One complainant had received a gambling advertisement offering bonus bets on his Instagram account. Under NSW law, it is illegal to publish gambling advertisements that induce customers to gamble through bonuses or other means.

The regulatory body found that Tabcorp had run an advertising campaign on 13 and 14 December 2019 via Instagram Stories aimed towards Tabcorp account holders.

However, the details of 900 NSW residents who had previously closed their Tabcorp accounts had also been provided to Instagram’s parent company Facebook for the campaign. The operator said this was the result of an error.

Ultimately, Magistrate Erin Kennedy convicted Tabcorp of breaching NSW law and ordered the company to pay a AU$30,000 fine – AU$12,276 of which is legal fees.

The Magistrate said the fine should serve as a deterrent to others and to ensure Tabcorp complies with the law moving forward.

Tabcorp saw revenue fall by 6% for Q3 2020. The operator attributed this to the closure of licensed venues across Australia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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