Sydney-based online betting platform SportChamps has been issued a fine amounting to AU$17,500 (US$11,481) for violating gambling advertising laws. This marks the sixth conviction for the operator, which has repeatedly run afoul of regulations designed to safeguard individuals from the potential harms of excessive gambling.

The penalty was imposed following an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW, which found SportChamps guilty of inducing individuals to gamble and open betting accounts through its website and Facebook pages. The Downing Centre Local Court witnessed SportChamps pleading guilty to two offenses under the Betting and Racing Act.

The advertisements under scrutiny featured enticing statements like “Punt for free. Learn the game!” and “Receive a free bet each day,” allegedly luring individuals to open betting accounts, a clear breach of New South Wales (NSW) law. Jane Lin, Executive Director of Regulatory Operations at Liquor & Gaming NSW, expressed her concern, noting that SportChamps has accumulated five previous convictions for similar offenses in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021.

Lin commented, “It’s extremely concerning that this operator has amassed multiple convictions for breaching laws which are in place to protect people from gambling harm.” The company’s marketing strategy, aimed at attracting new customers and expanding market share, blatantly disregarded the state’s gambling laws.

Upon creating an account, users were directed to the SportChamps Tournament Betting Lobby webpage, where both free and paid gaming tournaments were accessible. The process involved the solicitation of credit card details and deposit amounts, potentially heightening individuals’ involvement in gambling activities.

Lin emphasized, “Wagering operators can legally advertise their products in a variety of ways, but they can’t advertise or promote inducements such as offers of increased odds or bonus bets to entice people to open a betting account.”

These measures form integral components of the NSW Government’s holistic strategy, encompassing the reduction of monetary inputs for electronic gaming machines, imposing limits on gaming machine entitlements, appointing responsible gaming officers, and supervising a trial of cashless gaming under the guidance of an independent panel of experts. The government’s commitment to curbing the potential harms associated with gambling remains at the forefront of these regulatory efforts.

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