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VGCCC fines BlueBet $32K for gambling advertising breaches

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Australian bookmaker BlueBet has been fined some AU$50,000 ($32,400) by Victorian state authorities over gambling advertising breaches linked to 43 charges of displaying gambling advertising on or a above a public road.

The fine is the culmination of charges leveled by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) last year and relates to advertisements in place between late August and early September of 2022.

The VGCCC’s fine against the operator is the latest in a string of penalties against casino operators, sports betting firms and pokie clubs in a bid to reduce gambling harm and clean up the state’s gambling-related image.

However, the penalty BlueBet is facing for the offenses falls far short of the near AU$955,000 ($618,000) fine the operator could have faced – as each of the 43 charges each attract a fine of 120 penalty units.

The VGCCC investigation into the illegal advertising came about due to an “online complaint […] from a member of the public”, a VGCCC spokesperson had previously stated.

Magistrate Greg Thomas has noted that BlueBet’s defense that they didn’t know they were breaching the law was difficult to accept. The official stated that he would have fined the company AU$70,000 ($45,000) and recorded a conviction but took into consideration their guilty please, cooperation with the VGCCC and changes implemented to assure the breaches wouldn’t occur again.

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