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Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation cracks down on bonus advertising

It appears that the Australian state of Victoria is tightening up on gambling companies that offer inducements to punters to bet, with charges laid against four companies and the possibility of more to follow.

The Age newspaper reports that Tabcorp subsidiary Luxbet found itself in hot water for offering illegal rewards to punters as an inducement to bet on the 2010 Australian Open tennis championships. The company admitted guilt, and was alleged to have offered prospective clients ''more favourable odds'' on Roger Federer and Serena Williams winning the singles titles.

The newspaper notes that the Luxbet prosecution is the first under new laws, but that similar charges have been laid against Sportsbet, International All Sports and Eskander's Betstar.

In the Luxbet case - the first of the four to come to court - prosecutor Alex Fitzpatrick told Melbourne magistrate Elizabeth Lambden that new Luxbet customers were required to open an account with a minimum of A$100 and to place up to A$50 in order to receive ''bonus'' winnings.

The Tabcorp/Luxbet legal representative emphasised that group advertising was carefully and legally vetted, but that after hearing nothing back from the commission over a similar advertising issue, the group had mistakenly assumed its promotion was in compliance with regulations.

''They (the Commission) now take a different view of interpreting the regulations,'' he said, asking the court to accept that the breach had not been deliberate, and that in the interest of avoiding a confrontation Luxbet had entered a guilty plea. He suggested that the court punishment consist of an order on Luxbet tomake a contribution to charity.

The magistrate imposed a 12-month undertaking, without conviction, to be of good behaviour and ordered Luxbet to make a A$1,200 donation and pay costs.

Source: InfoPowa News

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