Australian Operator SportChamps Fined for Illegal Gambling Ad

  • Sportchamps convicted of illegal advertisement on website last July
  • Online gambling operator will have to pay a total of $4096
  • Regulator is toughening up and imposing larger fines
Cityscape of Sydney, Australia
Australian operator is fined for illegal online ad as regulator gets tough.

Wagering company prosecuted

Online Australian betting operator Sportchamps.com.au has been convicted of posting an illegal advertisement that originally appeared on its website on July 5, 2018.

As a result of an investigation carried out by Liquor and Gaming NSW, the online wagering company has been convicted and fined $1780 (£1362) for posting the illegal advertisement. Sportchamps was ordered to pay $2316 (£1733) in legal costs for breaking New South Wales gaming laws.

The advertisement in question said: “Matched first time deposit bonus up to $50 – Deposit for the first time and we’ll match your deposit with Bonus Cash, up to $50. Keep the winnings from Bonus Cash.” A button close to the ad said, “Sign up for free.

New South Wales laws

The New South Wales Betting and Racing Act makes it an offense to publish “a gambling advertisement that offers any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).”

The director of compliance operations for Liquor & Gaming NSW, Sean Goodchild, said that the advertisement was clearly a breach of New South Wales gambling advertising laws.

Mr. Goodchild said: “Advertising gambling inducements is unlawful in NSW, and operators who flout or try to get around these restrictions are acting against industry and community interests and increasing risks of gambling harms.”

The prosecution took place In Downing Centre Local Court on April 3. The prosecutor, Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson, countered Sportchamps’ argument that no one signed up for the offer.

Australia gets tough

The regulator has increased its fines amid breaches of promotions and illegal advertisements. Only last month, Aussie brand Sportsbet was fined over $12,000 (£9,200) for an online ad that encouraged players to refer a friend. Liquor & Gaming NSW was quick to investigate and fine the company heavily.

What’s more, it seems that players are getting their hands slapped too. Five VFL players were recently banned for up to three matches for gambling. There have been more breaches reported and Australia loses more per capita through gambling than any other country.