Australia’s BlueBet fined over €30,000 for advertising breaches

Jenny Ortiz 2 months ago
Australia’s BlueBet fined over €30,000 for advertising breaches

BlueBet Pty Ltd faces a fine of AUD50,000 (€30,221) following an investigation by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC). The probe stemmed from a complaint lodged by a member of the public, resulting in 43 charges against BlueBet for displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads, a contravention of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.  

Advertisement locations  

During a two-week period in August and September 2022, BlueBet’s gambling ads adorned digital billboards at various strategic locations, including overpasses on the Princes Freeway, Western Freeway, and other key points. The positioning of these billboards was specifically tailored to target males aged 15 to 54 years old.  

Judicial perspective  

Magistrate Greg Thomas, overseeing the case, expressed doubts about BlueBet’s defence, particularly their claim of ignorance regarding the breaches. Thomas highlighted the calculated placement of the billboards as evidence against BlueBet’s assertions. While refraining from recording a conviction, Thomas noted the repeated breaches indicated a high level of negligence on BlueBet’s part.  

VGCCC CEO’s response  

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM welcomed the verdict, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding vulnerable groups from exposure to gambling advertising, especially in public spaces. Kimmitt reiterated that such ads have no place on public roads and hailed the ruling as a clear message to wagering providers flouting community protections.  

Considerations and outcome  

Despite contemplation of a harsher penalty, Magistrate Thomas took into account mitigating factors such as BlueBet’s guilty plea, cooperation with the VGCCC, and measures implemented to prevent future breaches. Ultimately, an AUD50,000 (€30,221) fine was imposed, with no conviction recorded.  

BlueBet did not immediately respond to SiGMA News’ request for comment.  

Strategic merger with Betr  

The news comes after the long-anticipated merger between BlueBet and Betr has been finalized last week, marking a significant shift in the Australian wagering landscape. The merger was under negotiation for several months. 

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