Tabcorp found guilty of illegal gambling advertisements

By Caroline Watson
Australian betting operator Tabcorp has been found guilty of illegally luring consumers to open new betting accounts.

In August 2015, the betting operator promoted an offer giving bonus bets and other rewards as inducements for signing up.

The company was brought to court as it is illegal for bookmakers to publish ads in New South Wales to tempt residents with incentives to gamble or open betting accounts.

Tabcorp had denied the charges, but was found guilty on all three counts at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney and will face sentencing in February.

This is not the first incident that Tabcorp has had to deal with authorities over its promotions. Earlier this year, Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau ruled a Tabcorp TV advertisement that aired in October had contravened Section 2.8 of the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communications Code that prohibits gambling and marketing pitches from portraying, condoning or encouraging “excessive participation in wagering activities”.

The ASB said it received complaints about the advertisement as it glorified gambling and suggested that the men had spent the entire weekend gambling and lying to their partners about it.

Tabcorp responded to the allegation saying that it promoted the variety of TAB racing in a “light-hearted and humorous manner and to depict the enjoyment that many Australians derive from using the racing form and watching and racing vision on their phone”.

The Tabcorp case comes after a series of recent prosecutions against a number of other major brands, such as Bet365, Ladbrokes and Unibet.

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