Categories: Gambling LawsIndustry

SportsChamps Busted for Illegal Gaming Ads

A gambling company based in Australia has been caught providing banned gambling advertisements online last week. The government here is actively working to stop illegal gambling ads from spreading throughout the country. SportsChamps, the company busted this week, is now facing heavy fines.

It’s an interesting time in the Australian online gambling market. Let’s take a quick look at why SportsChamps is facing legal trouble, and what this means for online gaming companies here in the future.

Australian Laws on Online Gambling Advertisements

Gambling laws in Australia are interesting and complex. Technically speaking, each of the country’s provinces has the ability to set their own laws on the internet gambling industry. Today, online gambling is available throughout the entire country.

Lawmakers here passed the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001. This made it illegal for Australian-based companies to provide online betting odds inside Australia. Under these laws, it’s also illegal for foreign iGaming companies to offer betting odds inside the country. The government hasn’t taken too many steps to actually crack down on these foreign companies.

Laws have changed since 2001. Today, there are a number of domestic internet gaming companies offering betting lines to players inside the country. Each province has set different laws on how these companies can advertise.

In New South Wales, it is an offense to “publish a gambling advertisement that offers any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).” In other words, gambling ads here cannot actually promote gambling. According to new reports, SportsChamps, a major sports betting company, has been caught breaking these laws.

SportsChamps Caught Offering Illegal Gaming Ads

It’s clear that online gambling advertising laws in Australia are extremely strict. Authorities in New South Wales are now punishing SportsChamps for offering a generic bonus offer to new members.

The Liquor and Gaming NSW alleges that SportsChamps offered a bonus that “Matched first time deposit bonus up to $50 – Deposit for the first time and we’ll match your deposit with Bonus Cash, up to $50. Keep the winnings from Bonus Cas (sic).” According to authorities, this advertisement clearly breaks the laws currently set in place. This company is now being charged $2,500 and an additional $3,250 in legal costs.

This isn’t the first time lawmakers in Australia have punished online gambling companies for breaking ad laws. In March, another company named Sportsbet was fined more than $12,000 for offering a similar advertisement. Are these laws keeping the internet gambling industry in this country from flourishing?

Future of Online Gambling in Australia

Authorities in New South Wales are now punishing SportsChamps for illegal marketing activities. It’s a tough blow for one of the top internet gaming companies in the country.

The Australian government is still working to stop the spread of problem gambling. According to a 2017 report from the BBC, more than 200,000 people here have a gambling addiction. Video poker machines are the primary cause of this high rate of problem gambling.

We’ve seen a number of European countries begin liberalizing their online gambling markets in recent years. Sweden, most recently, has begun allowing foreign gaming sites to operate inside the country. Sweden’s government also sets strict laws on gambling ads.

It may be time for Australia to begin opening its online gambling market to offshore companies. It’s clear that people here love to gamble. Allowing companies based in Europe to offer betting odds here would help earn the government millions in annual revenue. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the government here plans to liberalize this market.

Do you think Australia needs to begin liberalizing its online gambling market? It is right to fine companies for offering generic bonus offers? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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