Tabcorp Faces NSW Fine over Illegal Gambling Inducement
The penalty was issued last week by the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney where Tabcorp pleaded guilty to breaching state advertising rules.
The gambling giant’s violations date back to December 2019 when a number of former Tabcorp customers received a gambling ad offering bonus bets from the operator on their Instagram accounts via Instagram stories.
Under New South Wales gambling law, locally licensed sports betting operators are prohibited from publishing ads that include inducements encouraging customers to participate or participate frequently in gambling activities.
Liquor & Gaming NSW, the state’s gambling watchdog, conducted investigations into the Instagram ad and discovered that Tabcorp ran an advertising campaign on December 13 and 14 via Instagram Stories that targeted bettors who had had accounts with the gambling operator but had closed them.
About 900 former Tabcorp customers from New South Wales received the ad. Liquor & Gaming NSW found that these bettors’ details had been provided to Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, ahead of the start of the advertising campaign.
Inadvertent Human Error
After its violations were established by state regulators, Tabcorp was convicted and fined in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court this past Wednesday. The company pleaded guilty to breaching New South Wales gambling advertising codes.
Tabcorp also said in court that the data of the 900 people who had opted to close their accounts with the operator was shared with Instagram due to an inadvertent human error.
Delivering her judgment, Magistrate Erin Kennedy said last week that some of those 900 people may have chosen to close their accounts due to a gambling problem and they should not have been exposed to adverts urging them to participate in a gambling activity.
Magistrate Kennedy went on to say that Tabcorp had a history of failing to comply with state rules and regulations and that did not assist it. The company was ordered to pay more than A$14,000 in fines and costs in the summer of 2019 for offering an illegal gambling inducement in the state.
Magistrate Kennedy further noted that the company’s conviction and fine should serve as a general deterrent but also as a specific deterrent to ensure that the major gambling operator complies with New South Wales laws.
Last week, Tabcorp was slapped with an A$18,000 fine and was also ordered to pay A$12,276 in legal fees.
Tabcorp was not the only gambling operator to have been hit with a fine in New South Wales in recent months. Earlier this year, Ladbrokes Australia and Neds were issued a record A$207,500 for offering gambling inducements that breached state laws and regulations.
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