Australian Court Fines Bet365 Over ‘Free Bet’ Offer
The Federal Court of Australia has ruled against UK-based Bet365, finding them guilty of false advertising with regards to a ‘free bet’ offer. The operator has been fined A$2.75 million for the advertisements that ran from March 2013 to January 2014.
The court ruled that Bet365 had deceived punters when they offered $200 free bets to new customers, without prominently displaying the terms and conditions of the offer. These terms included the fact that punters needed to deposit and bet $200 of their own money before being eligible for the free bet offer.
The operator was taken to court by the Australian Competitions and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In September 2015, the Federal Court’s judgement concurred with the allegations of the ACCC.
Justice Beach stated in his ruling that a “significant proportion” of Bet365’s 73,000 active customers had been impacted by the false promotion. This is not the first operator that has been fined for offering deceptive promotions; however, according to chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, this was the worst case.
“These penalties should serve as a warning to all businesses that it is not acceptable to promote ‘free’ offers as a headline offer without ensuring that any restrictions or limitations are disclosed in a prominent way,” stated Sims.
“The Bet365 was the worst one; we’re now writing to everyone saying: ‘Look it’s clear you can’t do this.’”
“This is particularly relevant in an emerging industry, like the online gambling market, where online and print advertisements target consumers who may not previously have used online gambling services.”
In response, Bet365 has said they have “introduced stricter compliance processes and controls, as well as improved staff training to prevent a similar issue arising again.” They have also been ordered to send out corrective notices to everyone affected.
March 30, 2017