Pointsbet fined $20,000 for offering inducements to gamble

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Betting operator PointsBet has been convicted and fined $20,000 for posting an illegal gambling advertisement in NSW.

The penalty was handed down in Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 9 April after PointsBet pleaded guilty to offering people in NSW illegal inducements to gamble.

The prosecution follows an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW into an advertisement that appeared alongside the PointsBet app in the Apple App Store.

The advertisement offered ‘ALL 40+ METRO RACES RUN 2ND UP TO $100 BACK’ if participants opened a betting account.

Under the NSW Betting and Racing Act, it is an offence to publish “a gambling advertisement that offers any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).”

Magistrate G J Still accepted that the advertisement may not have been easy to find on the Apple App Store but said it had the potential to drive people in the direction of PointsBet online.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations, Sean Goodchild, said PointsBet’s advertisement had clearly offered an inducement to gamble.

“Betting operators have an obligation to ensure that all advertising complies with NSW laws on gambling advertising,” Mr Goodchild said.

“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm so any breaches are taken seriously, which is reflected in the $20,000 fine.

“Under new laws that came into effect in July 2018, wagering operators, if found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble face fines of up to $55,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.”