Liquor & Gaming NSW has announced the conviction of wagering company Neds, ahead of massive increases to penalties to rogue companies breaching NSW gambling advertising laws.
Neds.com.au faced Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Tuesday (15 May), pleading guilty to five offences relating to advertisements on its own website, 9news.com.au and Racenet.com.au between October and December last year.
The advertisements offered to match first deposits up to $505, and ‘bet boosts”. It is illegal to advertise inducements to NSW residents, in the name of reducing the risk of gambling harm.
Liquor & Gaming NSW Deputy Secretary Paul Newson noted that Neds was prosecuted under the laws that existed at the time of the offence – but new laws will now ensure companies guilty of irresponsible practices will incur far higher penalties.
“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.”
The regulator has tightened control on directors of wagering companies that plead ignorance, and where the businesses write fines into the cost of business, or rely on fine print exclusion clauses to claim compliance.
“It will no longer be good enough for directors to turn a blind eye and say they were unaware their company had committed offences.
“In cases where company directors have not taken reasonable steps to prevent offences, they can be held personally liable.”