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28 June 2018

ClassicBet convicted for illegal gambling ads

Wagering operator ClassicBet Pty Ltd has been convicted of publishing unlawful gambling advertising ahead of next week’s start of tough new laws including tenfold rises in penalties and criminal prosecution of company directors.

The company pleaded guilty to two offences in Downing Centre Local Court on 27 June and faces fines and legal costs of $9,470.

A Liquor & Gaming NSW investigation found illegal ads on the ClassicBet website in November 2017 and January 2018 offering NSW residents inducements to gamble or open a betting account.

The ads offered up to $1,500 in ‘free’ betting credits for people who deposited a minimum of $100 into a ClassicBet account.

Liquor & Gaming NSW director of compliance operations Sean Goodchild said the ads clearly breached NSW gambling advertising laws.

“This kind of advertising can be harmful as there is a high risk it will encourage problem gambling including more risk taking and frequent betting,” Mr Goodchild said.

“Under new laws to begin next Monday 2 July, maximum fines for offering unlawful inducements to gamble have been increased tenfold, and directors of wagering businesses can be held personally liable and criminally convicted for gaming offences.”

Mr Goodchild said this latest case was the 16th successful conviction for illegal gambling advertising resulting from Liquor & Gaming NSW prosecutions in recent years.

“This clearly shows there was a strong need for tougher laws. If wagering operators continue to publish unlawful advertising, they will risk fines of $55,000 per offence and criminal prosecution of directors,” he said.

The new laws have also closed loopholes whereby wagering operators have relied on fine print exclusion clauses to avoid prosecution.

Media: Eric Aubert: 02 9995 0794, 0438 207 294