BlueBet Slapped with Fine by VGCCC for Breaching Advertising Regulations

BlueBet has been hit with a fine of AU$50,000 by the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for failing to follow the state’s rules regarding gambling advertising.

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The operator was found guilty of 43 counts of displaying gambling adverts on or above a public road, which is prohibited by Victoria’s Gambling Regulation Act 2003. A member of the public complained to the VGCCC, and the investigator's subsequent investigation found that over a two-week period in August and September 2022, BlueBet adverts were shown on several digital billboards on freeways.

Related: VGCCC Issues New Rules for Operators Issuing Customer Statements

BlueBet Loses in Court

The VGCCC filed charges against BlueBet and the case went to court. However, in the hearing, Magistrate Greg Thomas said that he found it difficult to believe the defense that BlueBet did not know it was breaking the law considering that they used billboards positions in prime locations to target men between the ages of 15 and 54.

While the magistrate did not record a conviction, he said that if the offenses were accidental then it was demonstrated a “high degree of negligence”. As such, BlueBet was found guilty of 43 charges.

The magistrate explained that were it not for BlueBet’s guilty plea, the company’s cooperation with the VGCCC, and the changes it has brought in, he would have fined them AU$70,000 and recorded a conviction.

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.

Annette KimmittVGCCC CEO

More Regulation News

Charges Don’t Change Acquisition Plans

While the fine is a setback for BlueBet, it will not prevent the acquisition announced last week. BlueBet has entered an asset sale agreement to acquire the Betr betting business.

BlueBet said that it will allow it to grow its Australian business and capture a greater market share. The company will be issuing roughly 265.4 million fully paid shares to Betr shareholders, which is roughly 56.9% of its current shares.

The deal is subject to closing conditions such as the approval of BlueBet shareholders. The company “unanimously” recommended that shareholders approve the acquisition, arguing that it will add material value. Assuming the conditions are met, BlueBet expects the deal to be completed by the start of July.


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