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Aussie Court Fines Online Gambling Groups

Bet365 & Unibet Fined in Oz

Leading gaming groups rapped for incorrect gambling advertising.

Two online gambling groups licensed in the Northern Territory have been fined by a local court for breaching state gambling advertising laws.

Betchoice Corporation, which trades as Unibet, and Hillside Australia New Media, trading as Bet365, were each charged with illegal publishing of gambling advertising on their websites last year.

Unibet entered pleas of guilty for offering a credit and reward as an inducement on its website in August last year. New South Wales' gambling laws state that all gambling related inducements, including the offer of bet refunds as offered by Unibet are illegal.

The court ordered Unibet to pay a $7,500 fine, as well as cover the legal costs of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) to the tune of $5K.

In addition, Bet365 pleaded guilty to two counts of advertising breaches. Similarly, the group was told to pay a $5,000 fine and another $5,000 to cover OLGR's professional costs.

OLGR After Licensed Gambling Groups

For some time now, the OLGR has been targeting licensed wagering operators and bringing them to court for breach of state gambling rules.

It has already prosecuted Ladbrokes, ClassicBet and Sportsbetting.com.au, while there are more actions pending against other operators.

It is believed that the fining of Unibet and Bet365 is a continuation of this policy.

"Licensed wagering operators should ensure that they do not publish gambling advertising that offers an inducement for NSW residents to participate in gambling activities," said the acting director of compliance and enforcement for the OLGR, Sean Goodchild.

Clampdown on Illegal Advertising

In September last year, NSW authorities said that they would clamp down on illegal gambling promotions.  It said that it would focus on companies which ignored the Racing Administration Regulation of 2012 which forbids licensed operators from publishing ads which offer state residents credits, vouchers or rewards to participate in gambling or opening an account with the site.

"The wagering industry is warned they are being monitored - including social media and company websites - and if material is found to offer illegal gambling inducements to NSW residents then action will be taken," Goodchild said.