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Sportsbet fined for gambling advertising breaches in Australia

Australian online operator Sportsbet has been found guilty of gambling advertising breaches, after an investigation by Liquor and Gaming NSW, being fined AU$135,000 (US$99,463).


The investigation revealed that between October 2020 and March 2021, Sportsbet account holders received prohibited gambling advertisements via email from the company, after withdrawing consent to further receive direct marketing; repeated attempts to unsubscribe were unsuccessful due to the confusing functionality of the unsubscribe option.

Between 2 and 24 November 2020, a desktop audit of the operator’s social media accounts was conducted, and it identified prohibited gambling advertisements referring to Treasure Punt.

According to the Betting and Racing Act 1998, publishing gambling advertisements that offer any inducement to take part in any gambling activity (including the inducement to open a betting account) is illegal.

It is also illegal to provide gambling advertisements directly after the betting account holder has withdrawn consent to receive such advertisements.

This is the second time the operator has appeared in court this year for breaching the advertising restrictions; in March 2021 Sportsbet was fined AU$22,000 for wagering advertising breaches.

Liquor and Gaming’s Compliance Director, Marcel Savary, said: “Research by the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling in 2020 revealed the vast majority of the community is not happy with the current style of wagering advertising, with 81% believing gambling advertising increases the risk of people developing a gambling problem.

"Participation in most forms of gambling in NSW is declining but online betting is increasing with 70% of all sports betting and 37% of race betting now carried out online. Liquor & Gaming NSW consistently expresses concerns to industry about gambling advertising and will continue to monitor compliance with these laws and take strong action for serious and blatant offending.”

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