Sports Betting operator, Betr, have been hit with a record $210,000 fine after being caught on 14 infringements related to advertisements offering inducements in New South Wales, Australia.
Betr have breached state regulations by running advertisements offering outlandishly inflated odds such as 100 – 1 and 20 – 1 on major events such as Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and NRL and AFL. These ads were launched in October of 2022 as part of their market inauguration.
The promotions that were run across all platforms, newspapers, online, radio and television were found to be illicit in nature by the state regulator, Liquor and Gaming NSW. This comes with some confusion as the content of the promotional offers are not in themselves inherently illegal. The issue comes from the place and nature of advertisements.
As the state regulator stated – “These advertisements breached NSW laws prohibiting the advertisement of any offer of an inducement to participate in a gambling activity, including an inducement to open a betting account or bet more frequently”.
This is an issue as advertisements with a serious inducement of this nature could attract a new customer and establish a significant market share, which would alter the perspective of prospective customers due to the scale of the platforms used to disseminate the offers.
The regulator also stated the legality of the offers in an alternative context.
Such promotions can only be legally offered to betting account holders who, unlike the general public, have made a conscious decision to open an account and receive this information
Enticement to actually open a betting account was the biggest issue cited by the regulator. This case comes subsequent to a conviction against fellow wagering company, SportsChamps, who were convicted of a similar offence when they were found posting illegal ads online.
A leader in the gambling sector, Australia generates $25 billion annually through gaming with nearly 80% of the population engaging in some form of gambling activities. So it should come as no surprise that well over 200,000 individuals in the nation have a “high-level problem” with gambling.
Such figures make regular regulatory actions such as the aforementioned inevitable and wholly necessary. The stringent laws in Australia may be the best route we have seen so far for most other nations to take the lead from, with many countries such as the UK and Spain bringing new legislation in to control the growing sector. Australia’s model seems to be the most effective as it doesn’t prevent gambling operators from meeting their own targets ethically.
Other places with laws that are perhaps equitably as stringent, such as Germany, have damaged the sector significantly, with their aggressive legislation forcing operators away.