AUSSIE GAMBLING GROUP FINED FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED PROMOTIONAL ADVERT
UBet convicted In New South Wales first.
Tasmania-based UBet, an Australian betting subsidiary of the Tatts Group, has become the first company in New South Wales to be convicted of promoting drinking while gambling under new laws.
Australian media reports indicate that Liquor and Gaming NSW was successful in prosecuting UBet for two breaches of the NSW laws involving alcohol and gambling, along with offering inducements to members of the public to participate in gambling activity.
The prosecution follows the publication of a UBet advertisement that showed viewers how to bet “head-to-head” on rugby league matches and depicted people with half drunk glasses of beer whilst others placed bets.
The inducements to gamble were in the form of an offer of bonus points to members of the public joining the UBet service.
The case was heard by Deputy Chief Magistrate Jane Mottley, who fined UBet A$3,300 and ordered it to pay additional legal costs of A$4,500.
She rejected as "naive" the companys claim that the ads had been withdrawn and that there had been a misunderstanding about their placement.
The prosecution was the first of its type in NSW by Liquor and Gaming NSW and comes just days ahead of the Australian Association of National Advertisers launch of a controversial self-regulatory code on gambling advertising.
Along with banning ads targeted ad minors, the nine point code prohibits marketing using peer pressure, suggesting that gambling can lead to sexual success, suggesting it is a way to relieve financial pressure, imply the promise of winning or encourage the consumption of alcohol in combination of wagering.
The new code comes into effect on July 1, with complaints under the code to be heard by the Advertising Standards Board.
Ubet is the combined result of a merger between Tattsbet and UniTab in 2006, followed by the acquisition of Tote Tasmania in 2011. The final entity was TattsBet Limited which was renamed Ubet in 2015.