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BlueBet fined in Australia for gambling advertising violations

Australian sportsbook BlueBet has been fined $50,000 for gambling advertising breaches following a complaint from a member of the public.

BlueBet was found guilty of 43 charges of displaying gambling advertising on or above a public road, which is classified as an offense under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

The fine and agreed costs will be paid to the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), which launched an investigation after concerns were contacted about the breach.

They found that over two weeks in August and September 2022, Bluebet’s ads appeared on numerous digital billboards along multiple highways.

VGCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM further elaborated on the ruling via a blog post on the official website: “Gambling advertising should not appear on public roads as it is easily visible to children and other vulnerable groups.

“They are particularly difficult to avoid in everyday activities. This decision sends a clear message to those gambling providers who flout these protective measures in our communities.”

The bookmaker faced a smaller fine than it would have otherwise imposed as the magistrate said he took into account their guilty plea, cooperation with the VGCCC and changes BlueBet had implemented to prevent the breach from happening again.

Magistrate Greg Thomas said otherwise he would impose a $70,000 fine and record a conviction.

He also said he found it difficult to accept BlueBet’s defense that they did not know they were breaking the law because the location was described as a “prime location” “targeting men aged 15 to 54”.

Victoria continues to protect players as other investigations wrap up

BlueBet is not the first company to be fined by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission this year, or even this month.

In early April, Victoria-registered bookmaker MintBet was fined $100,000 for repeated breaches of its responsible gambling code of conduct. This was due to one customer gambling for an extended period of time.

The commission found that despite signs of distress that could be linked to a gambling problem, the company did not stop accepting bets from customers, as was required by its Code.

The customer had placed 327 bets and lost $31,149. They gambled through their online accounts for 35 hours out of approximately 50 hours.

Featured Image: Photo by Urlaubstracker on Unsplash

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