Australian betting platform SportChamps has been hit with a fine of AUS $17,500 (USD $11,481) for repeated gambling advertising violations.
As reported by Gambling Insider, the Sydney-based operator has fallen foul of regulations for the sixth time, all for similar offenses.
The sanction was issued after an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW, the New South Wales state authority, found the company was guilty of inducing people to gamble and open betting accounts through its website and social media accounts.
With adverts such as “Punt for free. Learn the game!” and “Receive a free bet each day,” under the spotlight, SportChamps pleaded guilty in court to two offenses under the Betting and Racing Act, in violation of NSW law.
Their strategy to attract new customers has been a flawed one, with new accounts able to access the SportChamps Tournament Betting Lobby webpage once signed up, with free and paid gaming tournaments up for grabs. This initial process involved soliciting credit card details and deposits to play, increasing the likelihood of a user engaging in gambling on the site.
Jane Lin, a representative of the state regulator, provided a stern response to the findings from the investigation.
The Executive Director of Regulatory Operations at Liquor & Gaming NSW stated “SportChamps has five previous convictions for gambling advertising offenses from 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021. It’s extremely concerning that this operator has amassed multiple convictions for breaching laws which are in place to protect people from gambling harm.”
Lin went on to point out the key guideline that operators should not specifically promote offers or bonuses to entice new customers, as much as they are free to advertise their products.
The NSW government is leading several gambling reforms, including reducing cash limits on electronic gaming machines, introducing responsible gaming officers, and a pilot of cashless gaming in partnership with a panel of industry experts.
It is also targeting gaming room advertising with non-compliant venues facing fines of up to AUS $11, 000 for each offense.
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