Internet betting firm Bet365 has been fined A$2.75 million by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over false ads that they claimed were giving free bets to players.
The fine comes after an Australian Federal Court ruled that an ad put out by Bet365 that read "$200 free bets to new customers" was deceptive because fine print was not easily readable. The company required all new customers to deposit A$200 of their money and gamble it all before they got the bonus. They would also have to wager the money 3x over before they could withdraw.
The fine ends up being huge for Bet365, as the penalty is roughly 10% of what the company brought in as of March 2014.
Commenting on the fine ACCC Chief Rod Sims said, "The 'free bets' offer by Bet365 was aimed at enticing customers, particularly new customers who had not previously used such types of services and who were drawn into what the judge described as a 'web of deception."
For their part, Bet365 has addressed the issue, noting that they have put new controls into place as well as additional training to prevent the incident from happening again.