Wednesday 29. June, 2016

Ubet Convicted of Promoting Drinking While Gambling

Tatts‘ wagering arm and Tasmanian-based gaming company, Ubet, has become the first company to be prosecuted in New South Wales for illegal advertising that promotes the consumption of alcohol while gambling.

The advertisement that led to the investigation and prosecution showed people learning how to gamble “head-to-head” on National Rugby League matches. The people in the ad were holding half-full glasses of beer and one gambler was holding his mobile while being told that if he bets “head-to-head” he could have his bet returned even if his bet loses.

The company was prosecuted for two breaches of NSW laws – promoting alcohol consumption while gambling and offering inducements for gambling. Ubet pled guilty in Downing Centre local court on both advertising breaches. They were fined $3,300 and were ordered to pay costs of $4,500. Deputy chief magistrate Jane Mottley described Ubet’s claim that the placement of the advertisements had been a misunderstanding and that they had been withdrawn as soon as their attention had been drawn to it, as “naive”.

The company was prosecuted by Liquor and Gaming NSW and their director of compliance operations, Paul Irving, said court action was still pending for a number of other licensed wagering operators.

According to Mr Irving, this case should act as a warning to other wagering operators of the need to comply with NSW legislation regarding advertising that induces gambling and advertising that promotes the consumption of alcohol while gambling.

“Our compliance staff continue to monitor advertising online and in other media as part of investigations into potential breaches of NSW’s Betting and Racing Regulation,” he added.

The decision has come just a few days before the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) is expected to launch its own code to prevent the promotion of gambling to children.

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