Wagering company Neds.com.au has been convicted and fined $18,000 for publishing illegal advertising that offered NSW residents inducements to gamble.
On Tuesday 15 May in Downing Centre Local Court, Neds.com.au pleaded guilty to five offences relating to advertisements offering NSW residents inducements to gamble or open betting accounts and was convicted on all counts.
Advertisements included offers of matching first deposits up to $505 and “bet boosts” on websites including www.neds.com.au, www.9news.com.au and www.racenet.com.au between October and December 2017.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Deputy Secretary Paul Newson said the advertising practices intruded on the community and clearly breached NSW gambling advertising laws that aim to reduce the risk of gambling harm.
“While this case needed to be prosecuted under the laws that existed when the offences took place, new laws will ensure operators will incur substantially higher penalties for irresponsible practices,” Mr Newson said.
“Under the new laws, 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.
“It will no longer be good enough for directors to turn a blind eye and say they were unaware their company had committed offences.
“In cases where company directors have not taken reasonable steps to prevent offences, they can be held personally liable.”
Mr Newson said the new laws were needed to ensure company directors are accountable and motivated to intervene where practices are inconsistent with community expectations and company culture accepts prosecution as a cost of business.
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