Australian bookies receive record fine for illegal advertising

Australian bookmakers Ladbrokes and Neds have been fined a total of $207,500 for offering illegal gambling inducements to NSW residents, the largest ever fine of its kind. 

Under the NSW Betting and Racing Act, it is an offense to publish a gambling advertisement that includes any inducement to participate or participate frequently, in any gambling activity.

Wagering operators found guilty of offering illegal inducements to gamble face fines of up to $110,000 per offense, while company directors can be criminally prosecuted. 

Ladbrokes and Neds were found guilty of running several advertisements run across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018, which offered bonus bets for a smaller deposit, such as a deal to “Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets.”  

Liquor & Gaming NSW A/Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said the clear inducements to gamble and open a betting account were accessible to all users on social media.

“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population,” Mr. Argeres said.

“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.

Ladbrokes and News have the right to appeal.