Ladbrokes Australia and Neds, both owned and operated by GVC Holdings, have been hit record fines for offering illegal gambling inducements in New South Wales.
The NSW Liquor & Gaming government agency has whacked GVC a fine of $207,500 for offering bonus incentives for people to open new betting accounts.
The six ads that breached the legislation were run across Channel 7 television, Instagram and Facebook in 2018 and offered a “Deposit $50, get $250 Bonus” promotion. The ads were not geo-restricted to appropriate states and as such, reached a wider audience than intended.
“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population,” said NSW Liquor and Gaming Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres.
“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.”
This is not the first offence for Ladbrokes who were previously found to violate these laws back in 2015. On that occasion, the fine was just $7,500 plus court costs. Neds were also fined in early 2018. Pointsbet were fined $20,000 in April 2019 and Unibet were fined $25,000 in December 2019 for similar offences. This fine is a significant increase and should send a message that NSW L&G now mean business in regards to the enforcement of this legislation.
GVC Holdings have the option to appeal the decision, but given Ladbrokes’ appeal of its previous offence was rejected, they may choose not to pursue that path again.