Sportsbet fined for offering ‘refer a friend’ bonus

Australian online bookmaker Sportsbet has been convicted for offering unlawful inducements to punters to entice their friends to open gambling accounts, local media reports.

The advertisement was reportedly posted on Sportsbet’s website on July 5, 2018, containing a cartoon image of two males with their thumbs up, and offered the punter $100 Bonus Bet for every friend they refer to Sportsbet’s website.

Liquor and Gaming NSW said it was an offense to publish “any inducement to participate or participate frequently, in any gambling activity”, including an inducement to open a betting account.

In the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, the company was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay more than $7,300 in legal costs for breaching state laws.

“Despite Sportsbet’s long-standing record of compliance with advertising legislation across Australia, we accept that in this particular instance, we didn’t meet the required standard,” said a Sportsbet spokesperson.