PlayUp hit with $7.5k fine for NSW gaming law breach

3 May 2019

Australian online betting operator PlayUp has become the latest to be fined for breaching New South Wales gaming laws, having illegally targeted a self-excluded former customer.

PlayUp was fined AUD$7,500 (£4,035/€4,705/$5,246) for emailing a customer that had closed their account two years previously and opted out of being contacted by the operator in future.

The individual was offered free bonus bets in the email, prompting them to complain to the state regulator Liquor & Gaming NSW.

Under the state Betting and Racing Act, it is an offence to advertise any inducement to participate in any gambling activity, including an inducement to open an account, when the individual targeted is not already a registered customer.

In handing down the penalty in the Downing Centre Local Court, Magistrate Georgina Darcy noted that the recipient of the email was a vulnerable person. She supported the prosecution’s argument that the email constituted an illegal inducement to gamble, ordering that PlayUp pay costs fo $3,000 alongside its $7,500 fine.
“If someone chooses to exclude themselves from the services of a betting operator, sending them any promotional material as an inducement is clearly unacceptable,” Liquor & Gaming NSW director of compliance operations Sean Goodchild said.
“Self-exclusion systems help reduce the risk of problem gambling, so operators need to be vigilant in ensuring that they adequately maintain any self-exclusion data on their customers to avoid situations where vulnerable people are targeted with gambling inducements.” 

In recent months the likes of PointsBet, Sportschamps and Sportsbet have all fallen foul of New South Wales' strict controls on inducements to gamble in recent months.