Tabcorp Convicted For Advertising Breach

Tisha Walden | 10 Jul 2019

Tabcorp Convicted For Advertising BreachAustralian based betting company Tabcorp, has officially pleaded guilty to breaching advertising laws. The admittance of guilt resulted in a conviction at the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court, which was quickly followed by a financial penalty. The penalty amount came to $14,000, which was accepted by the accused with no protest.

The violation came as a result of new gambling advertising laws that were introduced last year in June, for the New South Wales area. In October the NSW Office of Liquor and Gaming, the regulating authority for New South Wales, received complaints from customers regarding Tabcorp. Many accusations were levelled claiming that the new regulations were being blatantly breached. The complaints fuelled a swift investigation by the NSW Office of Liquor and Gaming, who took the matter to the courts.

Illegal Offer Made On Gambling App

The violation was based around a single promotional offer made by Tabcorp. But it was not the offer itself that broke regulations. It was rather the fashion in which the offer was made. The operator put out a special promotion regarding the Khabib VS McGregor ultimate fighting bout in October last year, promising that a $50 bonus would be granted if the chosen fighter lost by decision. Problems arose when the promotion was broadcast to all users who had the company’s app on their smartphone.

This breaches new regulatory laws, which state that promotions may only be made to customers that have registered site accounts. Since a user could have the app on their phone, but still not have registered an account, the promotion was in violation.

Human Error

A representative from the guilty party called the breach simple human error, and apologised on behalf of the operator. But Chief Magistrate Henson, who spoke on behalf of the court, was not forgiving. He handed out the penalty swiftly, and took the time to remind all local operators that it was their obligation to behave responsibly. In this case it seems that human error was not accepted as an excuse, and Tabcorp was used to send a message to other operators; regulatory breaches are taken extremely seriously by the courts.

There has been an increased focus on problem gambling in Australia and the surrounding regions, including New Zealand. Many have been calling for stronger regulations, and heavier penalties against regulatory breaches. This is likely the reason that Magistrate Henson acted so harshly.