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CrownBet under probe for offering gambling incentives; Nick Xenophon wants ‘predatory’ pokie signs banned

TAGs: crown resorts, crownbet, James Packer, Jasmine Solana, Nick Xenophon, OLGR

CrownBet under probe for offering gambling incentives; Nick Xenophon wants ‘predatory’ pokie signs bannedNew South Wales’ gaming watchdog has its watchful eye set on James Packer’s sports betting agency CrownBet’s latest advertising campaign.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing wants to know if CrownBet’s new promotion, The Game Just Changed,” has breached NSW’s Racing Administration Regulation of 2012, which prohibits licensed betting operators from putting out ads that offer residents “any credit, voucher or reward as an inducement to participate in gambling or open a betting account,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported over the weekend.

The new advertisement, which made rounds in newspapers, online and social media, said: “Every time you place a bet, you’ll earn CrownBet rewards points to redeem at Crown Resorts. There’s nothing like it in sports betting. Start earning now.”

The OLGR said that it is going after sports betting companies that goad residents encourage residents to gamble.

So far, two companies were already convicted for breaching the regulation.

Through its website, OLGR said Northern Territory-based wagering operator Sportsbetting.com.au recently pleaded guilty to publishing an advertisement on its website between June 24 and July 3, offering 100 percent bonuses to new clients after they deposited funds into their betting accounts. Residents in NSW were not excluded from the offer.

Aside from paying the $1,650 fine, the company was also ordered to pay OLGR’s legal costs of $1,800.

Penrith-based ClassicBet Pty Ltd. was also convicted of illegal gambling advertising. It was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $4,500 in legal costs.

According to OLGR, ClassicBet published a website advertisement promoting a “Premium Rewards Program” promising punters will be “rewarded for every bet you place, regardless whether you win or lose.” The site also offers bonus bets and rewards, including shopping vouchers, sports tickets and holidays, the agency said.

Sean Goodchild, OLGR’s acting director of compliance and enforcement, warned sports betting agencies against letting NSW residents participate in free inducement offers.

“The wagering industry is warned they are being monitored—including social media and company websites—and if material is to be found to offer illegal gambling inducements to NSW residents then action will be taken,” said OLGR Acting Director of Compliance and Enforcement Sean Goodchild.

‘Predatory’ pokie signs ban

Meanwhile, habitual gambling scold Nick Xenophon is at it again. This time, the independent senator is eyeing the “predatory” stickers that tell poker players who have reached their ATM limit that they can still get cash from pub staff at the Hotel Metropolitan.

Xenophon wants the Independent Gambling Authority to investigate if the signs breach the state’s Gambling Codes of Practice because the said “predatory stickers go “against the ethos of responsible gambling,” news.com.au reported.

Damian Peterson, co-owner of the pub, told the news outlet the stickers have been in place for the last 18 months, right after the legal daily limit of $250 per card was set on ATM withdrawals in pubs.

According to Peterson, the establishment has very low gambling turnover compared with suburban hotels, but that hasn’t stopped Xenophon’s belief that the stickers are targeting problem gamblers who are more likely to use ATMs in pubs.

“It is insidious to be inviting people to get more cash once they have run out of cash,” the senator said, according to the report.

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