Across Australia, there are strict laws that restrict the ways in which gaming companies can advertise their services. For the most part, operators abide by these rules but some try to find loopholes and are subsequently punished. One such operator is Topbetta, a Newcastle-based gaming firm that has recently been fined for illegal advertising.
Topbetta has been charged with three counts of breaching the betting regulations of New South Wales. The operator offered a promotion called No Lose Saturday, which violates regulations by inducing players to gamble. Players were offered the chance to receive refunds up to $100 on any losing wagers on certain races. It was available to new players, encouraging them the join the site and deposit cash.
In many states across Australia, it is illegal for operators to offer players free bets. This is because the bets are not actually free, and they require players to eventually spend money at the gambling site. “These measures are in place in NSW to protect people from potential problem gambling.
Advertising inducements can lure people into gambling including those who may not be in a position to afford it or those who are susceptible to problem gambling,” says Anthony Keon, Director of Compliance and Enforcement for Liquor and Gaming NSW. “Wagering operators that offer inducements to gamble on NSW residents will face regulatory action”.
The fines for each count range from $4,950 and $15,000 as well as a $11,000 professional cost. This is one of many cases over the course of the past few years in which casino operators and betting firms have been charged with illegal gambling. The Herald encourages readers to report suspicious online gambling advertising to Liquor & Gaming NSW by calling 02 9995 0837 or emailing [email protected].