Ladbrokes Australia as well as the local sportsbook Neds have received a record fine in New South Wales over what was determined by the state to be violations against their advertising guidelines.
The body in charge of regulating the state’s gambling industry, Liquor & Gaming NSW, levied a total of A$207,500 on the two operators.
This was the largest fine ever issued by the agency for flouting the state’s rules on gambling advertising.
Ladbrokes and Neds were found to have offered residents a number of incentives in their promotions that violated the rules and regulations set out by the state.
GVC Holdings owns both Ladbrokes Australia and Neds. Both operators were the subject of an investigation carried out by the regulatory body, in which they were found to have issued a number of gambling ads on media outlets—television and online—that offered bonuses to new customers. One key ad promised new customers that their first deposit of A$50 will be matched by the company with A$250 in bonus bets.
Ladbrokes was found to have released four ads in total, while Neds had two. The ads were broadcast on Channel 7, as well as the social media networks Facebook and Instagram.
New South Wales gambling regulations prohibit local licensees from releasing gambling ads that incentivize their new customers to start sports betting, or to start gambling with more frequently, by offering inducements such as bonus bets. Bonus bets must be restricted to existing customers in NSW.
NSW Enforcing Gambling Ad Rules Stringently
The Downing Centre Local Court rules this week that the two operators were in clear violation of NSW law, and recommended a large fine to dissuade future operators from breaking the law.
Assistant Director of Compliance for Liquor & Gaming NSW Dimitri Argeres stated that the record-setting fine was justified for Ladbrokes and Neds because the inducements they offered and released via ads on platforms with broad reach have been proven to increase the risk for gambling-related harms.
Both operators are allowed to appeal the fine set by NSW. This is the latest in a series of NSW fining gambling firms operating in their state. In December, a fine of A$25,000 was levied against Unibet Australia which is owned by the Kindred Group after similarly flouting state rules on gambling ads. The ads also included inducements to new customers, as opposed to the rule in NSW that limits inducements such as bonus bets to existing customers.