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UBet penalised for promoting drinking whilst gambling

In the first prosecution of its type in NSW, a sports betting company has been convicted for illegal advertising that promoted alcohol consumption while gambling as well as offering inducements to participate in gambling activity.

In Downing Centre Local Court UBet Tas Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to two advertising breaches following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

NSW’s Betting and Racing Regulation 2012 prohibits licensed wagering operators from publishing advertising that promotes the consumption of alcohol while gambling as well as advertising that induces NSW residents to participate in any gambling activity.

The case is the first prosecution in NSW for advertising that promotes alcohol consumption while gambling.

UBet Tas Pty Ltd published a video advertisement on youtube.com called UBET Punters Academy.

Students of gambling are shown learning how to gamble “head to head” on National Rugby League matches.  The students are holding partly filled glasses of alcohol and one is using his mobile phone while being advised that if he bets “head to head” he could have his bet returned even if he loses.

Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors found that UBet’s website published an advertisement that offered “1,800 bonus points” for joining “UBET+Rewards Program”.

A further webpage stated: “UBET believes that loyalty should be rewarded, and UBET+ rewards you for every dollar you spend on bets placed…”

Deputy Chief Magistrate Jane Mottley fined Ubet Tas Pty Ltd a total of $3,300 and ordered the company to pay Liquor & Gaming NSW’s professional costs of $4,500.

The Magistrate described as “naïve” the company’s claim that the advertisements were withdrawn when brought to its attention and that there had been a misunderstanding of the advertisements’ placement.

Liquor & Gaming NSW’s Acting Director of Compliance Operations, Paul Irving, said the case served as a warning to betting agencies of the need to comply with NSW legislation relating to both advertising that induces gambling and advertising that promotes alcohol consumption while gambling.

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