Ladbrokes On The Wrong Side Of NSW Advertising Watchdog

Hefty fine and legal costs for offering inducements to gamble

Ladbrokes has been found guilty of publishing illegal advertising that offered New South Wales (NSW) residents inducements to gamble, and ordered to pay a hefty fine of A$35,000 along with A$50,000 in legal costs.

The ruling Tuesday by the Downing Centre Local Court followed an investigation by Liquor and Gaming NSW.

The advertising in question, which appeared on the Ladbrokes website, in The Sydney Morning Herald and on YouTube, was promoting “Odds Boost” and “Odds Boost Extra” features that invited punters to “increase the favorability of odds for one bet each day in the race of their choice”, using an online betting slip.

This is Ladbrokes second brush with Liquor and Gaming NSW, the first was back in November 2015 where the company was fined A$7,500 and ordered to pay $18,000 in legal costs for a similar promotion.

“It’s concerning that these sophisticated businesses continue to act irresponsibly by publishing advertising that risks causing or worsening problem gambling to boost profits,” Paul Newson, deputy secretary of Liquor and Gaming NSW said.

“Other companies that have been convicted of breaching these laws include Tabcorp, Ubet, Unibet, Crownbet, Topbetta, Bet365, Sportsbetting.com.au and ClassicBet Pty Ltd.

“We want to ensure that senior management of wagering operators show proper regard to responsible gambling obligations and are accountable for the compliance culture within their business. Where we find that directors or senior management are involved in breaches, Liquor & Gaming NSW will consider extending criminal liability to these individuals,” Newson warned.