A number of the New South Wales’ major gambling operators have recently been slapped with fines for allegedly breaching the territory’s advertising rules – this is specifically with regards to the ban imposed on free bet sign up offers. The casino operators have reportedly been exploiting a loophole to lure gamblers to register and gamble on their platforms despite the law that banned the inducements to gamble.
This law that banned such inducements to gamble as free bet sign up offers was passed in July 2018. Now, such kinds of promotions are only allowed on racing websites. Prosecutors have reported that they detected quite a number of violations of the law since it took effect last year with multiple online gambling sites being found to have used other websites to induce gamblers to bet on their sets by promising them free bet offers upon signing up. One of the places where the operators have exploited existing avenues to entice gamers to register on their platforms is the Apple App Store.
Things have so bad that the New South Wales gambling regulators have had to run an average of two prosecutions each and every month since the law took effect in July 2018. Many of the gambling companies that have been found guilty of the violations have been slapped with fines – while these fines may seem to be very substantial, critics have pointed out that considering the current state of affairs most of the companies that were fined considered the fines as a “mere cost of doing business”.
Some of the major gambling operations that have been convicted for such violations include Ladbrokes, bet365, PointsBet, Paddy Power’s Sportsbet, and Tabcorp. Nearly A$132,000 and additional court costs of just over $184,000 in fines have been imposed on the violators since July 2018.
More Needs to Be Done
According to the local gaming regulator in New South Wales, the violators of the rules risk being fined as much as A$55,000 – any and all potential breaches will also be thoroughly probed going forward. In addition to that, the regulator has also recently issued a decree requiring online gambling operators to improve their efforts in as far as responsible gambling is concerned.
Many people believe that this might not be enough and the gaming operators may need to be nudged a little more if anything is to change anytime soon. For instance, one contributor believes that the fines are nothing more than a slap on the wrists of the online gambling operators especially when we consider the massive revenues they operate with. As such, perhaps the best way of dealing with the issue may involve the gaming regulator being afforded the capacity and having the willingness to cancel or suspend the online gaming licenses.