Neds fined $18,000 for illegal gambling ads

Business News

Online bookmaker has been fined $18,000 after pleading guilty to several instances of broadcasting illegal advertising in NSW. pleaded guilty to five offences relating to advertisements offering NSW residents inducements to gamble or open betting accounts.

The company was convicted in Downing Centre Local Court this week.

The offending advertisements included offers of matching first deposits up to $505 and “bet boosts” on websites including Neds, 9News and Racenet between October and December 2017.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Deputy Secretary Paul Newson said the advertising practices intruded on the community and clearly breached NSW gambling advertising laws that aim to reduce the risk of gambling harm.

“While this case needed to be prosecuted under the laws that existed when the offences took place, new laws will ensure operators will incur substantially higher penalties for irresponsible practices,” Newson said.

“Under the new laws, maximum fines for offering unlawful inducements to gamble have been increased tenfold, and directors of wagering businesses can be held personally liable and criminally convicted for gaming offences.”

Newson added that it would no longer be a fair excuse for company directors to “turn a blind eye” to the issue and claim they were unaware of these offences.

He said the new laws were needed to ensure company directors are accountable and motivated to intervene where practices are inconsistent with community expectations and company culture accepts prosecution as a cost of business.

“In cases where company directors have not taken reasonable steps to prevent offences, they can be held personally liable,” Newson said.

The new laws have also closed loopholes whereby wagering operators have relied on fine print exclusion clauses to avoid prosecution.