Australia's biggest betting company Tabcorp has been fined $30,000 for illegal gambling advertisements on Instagram Stories

  • Australian gambling company Tabcorp pled guilty to an illegal gambling advertising offence for campaign run on Instagram Stories in 2019.
  • In December last year, the company ran advertisements that ‘inadvertently’ included former customers in NSW, encouraging them to place bonus bet through the gambling platform.
  • It’s an offence in NSW to publish advertising that encourages an individual to gamble or open up a betting account.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australia’s biggest gambling company has been found guilty of a gambling advertising offence for using Instagram Stories to convince people to sign up for accounts and place bets in NSW.

Last week, Tabcorp plead guilty to breach NSW’s gambling laws and was fined $30,000 for an offence committed in 2019.

On 14 December 2019, a former customer was shown an advertisement offering bonus bets while looking through his Instagram stories.

He was one of 900 former customers in NSW whose details had been provided to Facebook for the advertising campaign.

Tabcorp’s campaign ran across 13 and 14 December and was intended to target Tabcorp customers.

A Tabcorp representative claimed that the details of these 900 former customers had been provided for advertising targeting in error.

In NSW, gambling laws make it an offence to run gambling ads that have “any inducement to participate, or participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including an inducement to open a betting account).”

Operators who are found guilty of inducement can be fined up to $55,000 per offence and company directors can face criminal charges in severe cases.

Magistrate Erin Kennedy noted that some of the 900 former account holders may have closed their accounts because of a gambling problem. She said that this targeting was unacceptable, given their decision to cease gambling.

Kennedy also took into consideration Tabcorp’s previous infringements. In July 2019, Tabcorp paid nearly $120,000 for the same offence.

She ordered Tabcorp or pay $18,000 in fines and $12,276 in costs.

Tabcorp reported having $5.2 billion in revenues in the 2019-2020 financial year.

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