Unibet Fined $36,000 for Offering Gambling Inducements in NSW

Unibet, the online betting and gaming brand of Kindred Group, was found in breach of gambling laws in New South Wales (NSW) in Australia and was handed a fine of AU$48,000 ($36,000).

Offering Enhanced Odds

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) investigated three occasions in which advertisements promoting inducements to participate in gambling activity appeared on the brand’s website and in the Apple App Store on November 26, 2020, claiming Unibet breached the NSW Betting and Racing Act 1998.

The violations are related to the Uniboost, Uplift and Reboost products of the brand, which in their essence represent enhanced odds and constitute an offense of the betting and racing law by offering customers inducements to gamble. In Australia, Unibet is managed by Kindred Group’s BetChoice subsidiary.

“Special or enhanced odds have the ability to induce people to open a betting account when they otherwise may be refraining from gambling and they may encourage people to gamble more frequently.”

Darren Duke, Compliance Director, ILGA

Following a Downing Centre Local Court hearing on July 15, the sports betting brand, after pleading guilty to all three offenses, was ordered to pay AU$16,000 ($12,000) per offense, totaling AU$48,000 ($36,000), as well as to cover the legal costs of AU$3,900 ($2,900).

Previous Record of Offenses

In the statement released by the regulator, ILGA Compliance Director Darren Duke noted that the Magistrate took into account Unibet’s previous record of convictions, namely the AU$25,000 penalty the local court in Sydney slapped the operator in December 2019.

The penalty was imposed after an investigation conducted by ILGA related to two separate occasions found Unibet in violation of NSW betting law by offering inducements to bettors to participate in gambling activity.

The first advertisement appeared on The Canberra Times’ website in November 2018, telling gamblers, “Deposit $20, Bet with $100,” while the second advert was published on Unibet’s Australian website in February 2019, offering customers to “Earn $50 CASH For Each Friend You Refer.”

“The advertisements were designed to entice people to engage with gambling products and are a breach of the legislation.”

Darren Duke, Compliance Director, ILGA

The NSW Betting and Racing Act is considering offering inducements to participants as a serious offense as it increases the risk of gambling harm, giving the regulator authority to impose a penalty of up to AU$110,000 ($82,500) to each wagering operator found guilty.

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