SportChamps Hit with $17,500 Fine for Gambling Inducements in NSW

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The Melbourne-based betting operator SportChamps is under scrutiny once more and has been handed a substantial penalty of $17,500 for prompting individuals to participate in gambling. This is the company’s sixth offense under the NSW Betting and Racing Act, illustrating a consistent disregard for gambling regulations.

Investigation and Charges by Liquor & Gaming NSW

Liquor and Gaming NSW conducted an investigation that exposed SportChamps’ use of advertisements on its website and Facebook pages. The ads contained phrases like ‘punt for free’ and ‘receive a free bet each day’, tactics that are strictly forbidden in New South Wales and resulted in the fine.

The company has faced repercussions for similar advertising offenses five times since 2017, prompting questions about the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks in managing the online betting sector.

Jane Lin, the Executive Director of Regulatory Operations at Liquor & Gaming NSW, voiced concern regarding SportChamps’ recurring offenses. She highlighted the serious nature of the infractions, especially as they breach laws meant to shield bettors from problem gambling and the related harms. While acknowledging that betting companies are allowed to market their offerings, Lin clarified that enticing potential customers with offers of increased odds or bonus bets to open betting accounts is categorically banned.

Persistent Legal Trouble and Regulatory Challenges

The fines against SportChamps extend beyond the recent $17,500. In March 2023, the company was issued a $40,000 fine, coupled with an additional $14,000 in costs, for violating state gambling regulations. These continuous legal issues could potentially impact the company’s financial stability and damage its industry reputation.

The laws by Liquor and Gaming NSW explicitly prohibit inducements for various gambling-related activities. Violations of these laws can lead to large penalties, with corporations facing up to $110,000 and individuals up to $11,000 in fines.

SportChamps’ ongoing legal battles highlight the wider regulatory issues within the online betting industry. Despite facing multiple fines and penalties, the company’s actions suggest a disregard for state gambling laws. This situation not only raises concerns about SportChamps’ dedication to legal compliance but also emphasizes the necessity for stronger regulatory frameworks to effectively manage and mitigate such activities in the industry.

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