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BlueBet Fined for Advertising Violations by VGCCC.

In recent news, BlueBet, a significant player in the Australian gambling scene, has been fined by the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for breaching advertising regulations.

BlueBet’s Fines and Violations

The VGCCC has fined BlueBet AU$50,000 for 43 charges related to displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads in Victoria. This breach of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 has raised concerns, particularly regarding the targeting of vulnerable demographics, notably males aged 15-54.

During the court proceedings, despite BlueBet’s claim of ignorance of the law, Magistrate Greg Thomas expressed scepticism, highlighting the company’s blatant negligence. Although no conviction was recorded, BlueBet was found guilty and ordered to pay the imposed fine.

BlueBet’s cooperation with the VGCCC in offering a guilty plea reduced the fine from AU$70,000 to AU$50,000. However, BlueBet is still required to cover all associated legal costs. VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt emphasised the significance of safeguarding vulnerable groups from gambling advertising on public roads.

VGCCC’s Response and Consumer Protection Measures

This incident coincides with a crucial development in Victoria’s gambling landscape: the implementation of new online gambling regulations. These regulations, effective April 1st, are designed to bolster consumer protection. They include guidelines for a clearer representation of spending and losses within players’ online gambling accounts, with a strong emphasis on plain language and responsible gambling messaging.

Changes in Online Gambling Regulations

The changes in Victoria’s online gambling regulations are significant. They primarily focus on the strict display of information within players’ online gambling accounts, with notable modifications regarding the reporting of player spending and net losses.

Previously, net losses included free and bonus bets, potentially leading to a misrepresentation of actual losses. However, under the new regulations, net losses will exclude free and bonus bets, providing a more accurate reflection of players’ financial activities. This change is a step towards a more transparent and responsible gambling environment.

Regulatory Efforts and Industry Responses

Victoria’s regulatory efforts have been ramped up, with fines imposed on other operators for breaches of responsible gambling rules. For instance, 8xbets, which is prohibited in Australia, was recently brought to task for violations caused through advertising on live sports broadcasts that aired in Australia. MintBet, as another example, faced a fine of AU$150,000 for repeated advertising violations, and Tabcorp was required to introduce cashless electronic betting terminals to deter underage gambling.

BlueBet’s Latest Prospects

Despite this legal setback, BlueBet remains focused on expanding its horizons, as evidenced by its recent agreement to acquire the Betr wagering business. Pending shareholder approval and meeting closing conditions, this strategic move is expected to strengthen BlueBet’s market presence and shareholder value.

Stay tuned for further updates on the evolving landscape of online casino news, regulatory developments, and industry insights.

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