GVC Australia hit with record New South Wales fine

By Iqbal Johal

GVC Holdings-owned Ladbrokes Australia and Neds have been hit with a New South Wales record fine of AUS$207,500 (US$139,300) for offering illegal gambling inducements to residents in the state.

An investigation by government agency NSW Liquor & Gaming found Ladbrokes – which is owned by GVC, along with Neds – was guilty of offering betting bonuses to people who opened new betting accounts.

The adverts, four from Ladbrokes and two from Neds, ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018, with the deal offering a ‘Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets’.

Under the state’s Betting and Racing Act, it is deemed an offence to publish adverts which might lure people to participate or participate frequently in any gambling activity.

Operators found guilty of promoting such inducements to gamble face fines of up to  AU$110,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.

NSW Liqour and Gaming Diretor of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said: "Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population.

"In NSW such advertisements are restricted to registered betting account holders. This record fine should serve as a reminder that betting operators have an obligation to ensure their gambling advertising complies with NSW laws."

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