Australian group wants to ban free bet ads

The association is trying to ban ads that sponsor free and “bonus” bets.

Australia.- Responsible Wagering Australia, a new trade association from the Oceanian country, said that they would back a push to ban advertisements that promote “free and bonus” bets. The association is backed by Bet365, CrownBet, Unibet and Sportsbet, among others that are currently licensed in the North of Australia.

Stephen Conroy, head of Responsible Wagering Australia, said: “A national ban is in the long-term interests of consumers, operators and regulators, and would further strengthen harm-minimisation efforts in the sector. A ban that applies right across Australia is the only way to ensure that an appropriate level of consumer protection is offered, regardless of where an individual lives.”

The movement seeks the ban of advertisements in Queensland so they can add the state to the list of the territories that are currently under regulations. The Sunday Mail reported that money spent in Queensland increased 36 percent in the first nine months of 2016 due to poor regulation in the area. It is estimated that there’s an ad on TV or radio every 70 seconds. According to Gerard Byrne, operations manager of the Salvation Army Recovery Services, there’s a correlation between advertisements and potential gamblers.

Last week, Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court found gambling company Tabcorp guilty of running ads luring clients to open new accounts. The promotion offered consumers bonus bets and other rewards as a way of encouragement for signing up in their platform. The New South Wales law establishes that bookmakers cannot publish the ads as an attempt to influence gamblers to play or open new betting accounts. Despite denying the charges, Tabcorp was found guilty of three counts in Sydney’s court and will face the sentence in February 2017.