TATTS ONLINE SUBSIDIARY WANTS BAN ON FREE BET AND SIGN-UP BONUS ADVERTISING
UBET calls for restrictions in Queensland.
Queensland, the only Australian territory where "inducement advertising" is permitted, may soon join the rest of the country in banning it if Tatts' online subsidiary UBET has its way.
Foreign-owned online companies like Bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill, along with domestic firms like Crownbet, all attract online punters with such advertising, offering free bets and sign-up bonuses, and UBET is calling for the Queensland government to put a stop to it by aligning territory law with that of other Australian provinces.
Tatts chief executive Robbie Cooke has reportedly corresponded with Queensland Attorney General Yvette D'Ath asking her to act against the practice, emphasizing the bans imposed elsewhere in Australia and claiming his company is at a disadvantage by eschewing "inducement advertising".
And, he reminds the local government, Tatts contributes over A$2 billion to the Queensland Government and racing industry through product fees, whilst its rivals (who are mainly licensed in the more lenient and economical Northern Territory) are prospering without “paying a single dollar of wagering tax to the Queensland Government”.
“UBET is concerned that Queensland’s regulatory landscape is inconsistent with other states’ regimes, in permitting ‘inducements’ to be offered by non-Queensland licensed wagering operators who specifically target Queensland residents to encourage wagering activity,” Cooke wrote.
The Attorney General's response appears to have been polite but mild, advising Cooke that the department was monitoring issues around wagering and advertising, and confirming that:
“Generally, the offering of inducements is contrary to Practice 6.10 of the Queensland Responsible Gambling Code of Practice which requires that ‘advertising or promotion does not involve any irresponsible trading practices by the gambling provider.”
However, observers noted that the Code of Practice to which the AG refers is voluntary in nature….and to date UBET is the only online bookmaker that has sign up to support it.
Asked by the press for comment on the issue, the Queensland Attorney General's office said that the question of inducement advertising required a national rather than individual territory approach.