Tabcorp $14,000 out of pocket for offering illegal inducements to gamble

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Tabcorp has been convicted and ordered to pay over $14,000 in fines and costs for offering an illegal gambling inducement in NSW.

The penalty was handed down in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 3 July after Tabcorp pleaded guilty to breaching NSW gaming laws.

The prosecution follows an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW into a promotion that appeared on Tabcorp’s mobile phone app on 4 October last year.

The advertisement offered ‘HEAD TO HEAD SPECIAL – KHABIB VS MCGREGOR – if your fighter loses by decision, bonus bet back up to $50’.

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

Such promotions can only be offered in NSW to registered betting account holders. In this case, the promotion was available to anyone who viewed the app without being required to log on to a Tabcorp betting account.

Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson said the sentence needed to recognise the adverse social impacts of gambling which extends to families, and rejected the company’s claim that this case involved extenuating circumstances.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Sean Goodchild said Tabcorp’s promotion 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.

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