NSW Court dismisses Ladbrokes appeal against conviction for illegal gambling ads

Business News

The Australian NSW District Court has dismissed an appeal by Ladbrokes against its conviction for publishing illegal advertising that offered NSW residents inducements to gamble.

On Tuesday 5 December, Judge Martin Blackmore dismissed Ladbroke’s appeal and confirmed the decision of the Local Court to convict and fine Ladrokes in April this year.

Ladbrokes was convicted and fined $35,000 and ordered to pay $50,000 in legal costs for publishing advertising that breached the NSW Betting and Racing Regulation 2012.

It was the second time Ladbrokes has been convicted of breaching NSW gambling advertising laws that aim to reduce risks associated with problem gambling.

The offences related to advertisements on Ladbrokes’ website, in The Sydney Morning Herald and on YouTube to promote the “Odds Boost” and “Odds Boost Extra” features. To take part, people were able to use an online bet slip to increase the favourability of odds for one bet each day in the race of their choice.

In November 2015, Ladbrokes was fined $7,500 and ordered to pay $18,000 in legal costs for similar illegal promotions.

Liquor & Gaming NSW director of compliance operations, Sean Goodchild, said it was pleasing that the appeal had been dismissed.

“The District Court has reaffirmed the original judgment that these offences were clearly against the law, which is in place to minimise adverse social effects caused by problem gambling,” Mr Goodchild said.

“Targeting unlawful gambling related advertising and inducements is a priority activity for Liquor & Gaming NSW in 2017-2018.

“We will continue to investigate and prosecute irresponsible wagering operators and hold directors and senior managers accountable where companies are found to disregard NSW laws.

“Other companies that have been convicted of breaching these laws include Tabcorp, Ubet, Unibet, Crownbet, Topbetta, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Sportsbetting.com.au and ClassicBet Pty Ltd.”