Australian gaming operator Sportsbet has been fined $135,000 AUD by Liquor and Gaming New South Wales after the regulator found the company in violation of advertising standards within the state.
The company was found to have sent multiple emails between October 2020 and March 2021 to customers that had already withdrawn their consent to receive direct marketing. The customers were still receiving emails, despite multiple attempts to use the unsubscribe option in the mail footer. Additionally, the regulator found that Sportsbet sent prohibited gambling ads on social media that were targeted toward the company's Treasure Punt promotion.
The long-term nature of the violations, in addition to it not being the first offence by Sportsbet led to the large fine. Earlier this year the company was hit with a $22,000 fine for advertising breaches.
Regarding the state's crackdowns Liquor & Gaming NSW Director Marcel Savary said, "So far this year Liquor & Gaming NSW have started more than double the number of prosecutions compared to last year with 119 different counts of breaching the provisions brought against 14 operators, up from 31 counts against seven operators in 2020.
"Research by the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling in 2020 revealed the vast majority of the community is not happy with the current style of wagering advertising, with 81 per cent believing gambling advertising increases the risk of people developing a gambling problem.
"Liquor & Gaming NSW consistently expresses concerns to industry about gambling advertising and will continue to monitor compliance with these laws and take strong action for serious and blatant offending."
While it's a big amount to be fined with, knowing how strict Australian laws are when it comes to gambling, I believe the result could have been much worse.