Warning by NSW regulator on wagering advertising

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing reminds the online wagering industry to be vigilant about complying with advertising requirements following recent regulatory actions.

OLGR recently warned online betting company Sportsbet over a suspected contravention of the Racing Administration Regulation 2012 in relation to its “50 Shades of Greyhound” video, which OLGR considered breached a requirement for wagering advertising to accord with “decency, dignity and good taste”.

While Sportsbet argued its video did not contravene the regulation, it agreed without any admission of liability to remove the video from its website and inform its marketing and promotional staff about OLGR’s position on regulatory requirements.

Online betting agency BetEasy Pty Ltd also faced potential prosecution action over a free $50 bet offer that was accessible online to NSW residents. BetEasy (now Crownbet) claimed its promotion was not in breach of NSW law, however it agreed to not repeat the promotion or similar promotions that could contravene NSW law and published a statement on its website to that effect.

Under the Racing Administration Regulation it is an offence in NSW to publish gambling advertising that offers either a credit, voucher or reward to a resident as an inducement or incentive to participate in any gambling activity or to create a betting account.

Wagering operators are advised they must ensure that NSW residents are not eligible to participate in free inducement offers and should have appropriate website controls and systems in place to prevent them from doing so.

Under the Racing Administration Regulation there are prohibitions on gambling-related advertising that:

  • encourages a breach of the law
  • depicts children gambling
  • is false, misleading or deceptive
  • suggests that winning will be a definite outcome of participating in gambling activities
  • suggests that participation in gambling activities is likely to improve a person’s financial prospects
  • promotes the consumption of alcohol while engaging in gambling activities.

Industry members should be well aware of their obligations under NSW law, and, going forward, OLGR will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to any identified breaches of advertising requirements.

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