Tabcorp fined $30,000 for illegal promotion in NSW Australia

Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court in Australia has fined $30.000 gambling giant Tabcorp for offering illegal inducements to bet or open betting accounts in New South Wales through Instagram. Tabcorp pleaded guilty to breaching NSW gambling laws, since last year, on 14 December 2019, a former Tabcorp betting account holder received a gambling advertisement offering bonus bets from Tabcorp on his Instagram account via Instagram Stories.

It was revealed by further investigations by Liquor & Gaming NSW that Tabcorp run an Instagram Stories campaign on 13 and 14 December to Tabcorp account holders. But details of 900 NSW residents who had closed their Tabcorp accounts had also been provided to Instagram’s parent company Facebook for the advertising campaign.

Under the NSW Betting and Racing Act, it is an offence to publish a gambling advertisement that “includes any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).” Such promotions can only be offered in NSW to registered betting account holders. 

Tabcorp insisted that the details of 900 people had been included as a result of inadvertent human error but didn’t manage to convince the judge. More specifically, magistrate Erin Kennedy stated that some of the 900 may have closed their Tabcorp accounts because they had a gambling problem and these people should not have been exposed to these advertisements. Also she pointed out that Tabcorp’s compliance history didn’t assist much. The gambling giant was fined last year as well for the same reason, while in 2018 a record $45 million civil penalty ordered against Tabcorp for breaching anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws.

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