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Issued:Friday 11 September 2015

Licensed wagering operator ClassicBet Pty Ltd has been convicted of illegal gambling advertising and fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $4,500 in legal costs.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) prosecuted the Penrith-based company after it published an advertisement promoting a ‘Premium Rewards Program’ promising punters will be ‘rewarded for every bet you place, regardless whether you WIN or LOSE’.

In NSW, the Racing Administration Regulation prohibits licensed wagering operators from publishing gambling advertising that offers any credit, voucher or reward as an inducement to participate in gambling or open a betting account.

ClassicBet’s website promotion offered bonus bets ranging from $25 to $10,000 based on customer betting turnover or ‘rewards’ including shopping vouchers; tickets to sporting events including the Melbourne Cup, Sydney Championships, NRL Grand Final and State of Origin; and holidays in Fiji and Bali.

ClassicBet pleaded guilty to the breach in the Downing Centre Local Court and, on 10 September 2015, Magistrate John Favretto convicted and fined it $1,000 and ordered it to pay $4,500 in costs. The company was warned that penalties would increase if future breaches occurred.

Section 12 of the Racing Administration Regulation 2012 also prohibits licensed wagering operators from publishing gambling-related advertising that:

  • encourages a breach of the law
  • depicts children gambling
  • is false, misleading or deceptive
  • suggests winning will be a definite outcome of participating in gambling activities
  • suggests participation in gambling is likely to improve a person's financial prospects
  • promotes the consumption of alcohol while engaging in gambling activities
  • is not in accordance with decency, dignity and good taste.

Any gambling advertising must also include contact details for the Gambling Help problem gambling counselling service on 1800 858 858 and www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au

Maximum court-imposed fines of up to $5,500 apply for breaches.

OLGR Acting Director of Compliance & Enforcement Sean Goodchild said further prosecution actions against other licensed wagering operators were pending and online advertising was being monitored so the conviction should serve as a warning to the wagering industry.