By Andy Young
A sports betting company has been convicted for illegal advertising that promoted alcohol consumption while gambling as well as offering inducements to participate in gambling activity.
UBet Tas Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to two advertising breaches following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Jane Mottley fined Ubet Tas Pty Ltd a total of $3,300 and ordered the company to pay Liquor & Gaming NSW’s professional costs of $4,500.
The Magistrate described as “naïve” the company’s claim that the advertisements were withdrawn when brought to its attention and that there had been a misunderstanding of the advertisements’ placement.
Liquor & Gaming NSW’s Acting Director of Compliance Operations, Paul Irving, said the case served as a warning to betting agencies of the need to comply with NSW legislation relating to both advertising that induces gambling and advertising that promotes alcohol consumption while gambling.
“Our compliance staff continue to monitor advertising online and in other media as part of investigations into potential breaches of NSW’s Betting and Racing Regulation,” Irving said.
“As this case shows, companies that break the law can expect to face prosecution in court.”
UBet Tas Pty Ltd published a video advertisement on youtube.com called UBET Punters Academy. Students of gambling are shown learning how to gamble “head to head” on National Rugby League matches.
The students are holding partly filled glasses of alcohol and one is using his mobile phone while being advised that if he bets “head to head” he could have his bet returned even if he loses.
Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors found that UBet’s website published an advertisement that offered “1,800 bonus points” for joining “UBET+Rewards Program”.
Irving said this latest conviction follows several previous prosecutions of sports betting companies such as Unibet, Bet 365, CrownBet, Ladbrokes, Sportsbetting.com.au Pty Ltd and ClassicBet Pty Ltd. Court action is still pending for a number of other licensed wagering operators.