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BlueBet fined in Australia over gambling advertising breaches

The Australian sports betting company 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 classed 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) who launched the investigation after a person got in touch with concerns of a breach.

They found that over two weeks in August and September 2022, Bluebet’s advertising appeared on numerous digital billboards across several freeways.

The CEO of VGCC Annette Kimmitt AM expanded on the verdict through a blog post on the official website: “Gambling advertising has no place on public roads where it is readily visible to children and other vulnerable groups.

“These places are especially difficult to avoid as part of day-to-day activities. This decision sends a clear message to wagering providers that flout these protections for our community.”

The betting company faced a smaller fine than what would otherwise have been given as the Magistrate said he took into account their guilty plea, cooperation with the VGCCC, and the changes that BlueBet has implemented to prevent the breaches from occurring again.

The Magistrate Greg Thomas said he would have fined them $70,000 and recorded a conviction otherwise.

He also said how he found it difficult to accept BlueBet’s defense that they didn’t know they were breaching the law, as the location was described as being a ‘prime position’ to ‘target males aged 15-54 years old.’

Victoria continues to protect players as other investigations are concluded

BlueBet isn’t the first to be fined by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission this year, or even this month.

At the beginning of April, the Victorian registered bookmaker MintBet was fined $100,000 for repeated breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. This was due to extended periods of gambling by a customer.

The Commission found the company did not stop taking bets from the customer despite indicators of distress that could be related to problem gambling which is a requirement of their Code.

The customer had placed 327 bets and lost $31,149. They gambled through their online account for 35 hours in a period of roughly 50 hours.

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