In a significant move, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) recently penalized several established betting companies. These firms came under fire for a range of infractions, from advertising misdemeanors to system malfunctions. Notably, ALH Group, BlueBet, and Tabcorp received the heaviest fines.
Cracks Down on ALH Group
Firstly, we turn our attention to ALH Group, slapped with a substantial fine of $550,000. The company’s penalties stemmed from its failure to ensure that a problem gambling detection system, known as ‘Argyle,’ was correctly installed across 62 of its 77 venues. The court fines did not stop there. ALH Group was also on the hook for VGCCC’s legal expenses, adding another $50,000 to the bill.
BlueBet Advertisements Run Afoul
Following the ALH Group, BlueBet found itself in hot water. This company got charged for breaking advertising rules and now faces a maximum fine of $945,187. The alleged offense occurred over two weeks last year. During this period, BlueBet placed three gambling ads on billboards within Victoria.
However, these placements crossed paths with strict state laws. These laws prohibit static gambling ads from appearing in specific locations. Among the banned sites are public transport infrastructure, areas within 150 meters of a school, and public roads.
Tabcorp’s System Failure: A Million-Dollar Mistake
Finally, the heavyweight of the betting industry, Tabcorp, was hit with the largest fine. The company was ordered to shell out a whopping $1.0m. The reason for this record-breaking fine was Tabcorp’s conduct during a significant system outage in 2020.
During the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival, Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System crashed. The system was out of operation for about 36 hours. This outage was a glaring violation of the Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement which mandates that the system must be continuously available.
The VGCCC condemned Tabcorp for its handling of the incident, which involved a lack of response to VGCCC’s directions during the investigation. The severity of the violation justified the record fine. The VGCCC also called out Tabcorp’s repeated failure to comply with instructions.
Now, more than ever, betting firms need to ensure they operate within the bounds of the law. This includes anything from making sure their systems are always up, to offering responsible methods of payment like PayPal, to observing advertising restrictions. It’s clear that any breaches will hit firms where it hurts the most: their wallets.