VGCCC fines BlueBet AU$50k for breaching gambling ads rules

VGCCC fines BlueBet AU$50k for breaching gambling ads rules

The charges are related to five billboard advertisements.

Australia.- The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined BlueBet Pty AU$50,000 for breaching gambling advertising laws. It found BlueBet guilty of 43 charges of displaying gambling advertising on or above a public road, which is prohibited under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

During a two-week period in August and September 2022, BlueBet’s gambling advertisements appeared on digital billboards at Princes Freeway on the Point Cook Road Overpass (Laverton), Princes Freeway on the Princes Highway Overpass (Point Cook), Western Freeway Melton – Werribee Road (Rockbank), Western Freeway before Ballarat Road Overpass (Ravenhall) and Princes Freeway on Sneydes Road Overpass (Werribee). 

Magistrate Greg Thomas said he found it difficult to accept BlueBet’s defence that it was unaware of the breach given the position of the billboards. He did not record a conviction, but said that if the breaches were accidental, they demonstrated a high degree of negligence.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM welcomed the verdict: “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.” 

The news comes amid rumours of a merger between BlueBet and Betr. Last week, BlueBet requested a temporary halt to the trading of its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) due to the possibility of an acquisition and equity capital raising transaction.

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Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission