Bet365 Fined for False Advertisment
Bet365 is one of the biggest betting agencies in the Australian online gambling industry. This big company was fined a total of 2.75 million dollars following a federal court case where the company was convicted for false, deceptive and misleading advertisement regarding a free bets promotional offer. This action against the betting company was carried out by the ACCC (The Competition and Consumer Commission of Australia), regarding the company’s $200 Free Bets that it offered to its new clients. This promotion was on offer by the UK based gambling company during the period between March of 2013 and January of 2014.
The ACCC has argued that the promotional offer came with many limitations and restrictions that were not brought up to the attention of the customers, which really affected what the players were expecting from the promotional offer. The offer eluded the players that they will claim $200 in free bets, but in order for players to receive $200 in free bets, they had to make a deposit and gamble $200 of their own balance before claiming the $200 in free bets. This is why if the limitations and the accompanied restrictions were shown in an appropriate way to the clients’ attention, it would have made it clear that there isn’t any free bets, as players will have to risk and place bets with their own cash before they get the “free bets”, as was stated by the Chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims.
On top of that, Rod Sims added that players had to gamble the deposit and the bonus amount 3 times before they are permitted to withdraw their winnings. So if players made a deposit of $200, they were required to gamble $1200 before they can make any withdrawal.
Bet365 is controlled by the UK parent, hillside Services through the Aussie subsidiary, Hillside PTY Ltd. (Australia New Media). Hillside Services listed a revenue of 932 million pounds in the 2014 financial year, with more than 29 million accounted from its Australian services.
Mr. Sims has also stated that the Federal Court has found that this conduct was extensive and serious, and that throuhgout its duration, it has affected a great number of Aussie players. In addition, it was found that this conduct has involved an element of recklessness which happened in an environment that lacked a rigorous and a substantial compliance program. The Federal Court also ordered Bet365 to send a notice to all affected customer via email.
Mr Rod Sims also added that this offer was aiming to entice players, especially the new ones who have not used such promotions and offers before, as they were drawn to this offer, as a result of the deception that it flaunted.