Bet365 accused of 'web of deception' in Australia

Bet365 accused of 'web of deception' in Australia

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The operator was found to have misled customers

Bet365 has been found guilty of misleading customers over ‘free’ bets in Australia, just as the country begins a review of its online gaming rules.

The betting operator - which has an Australian licence, but is headquartered in the UK - was found to have deceived customers after a court found that players were forced to spend up to Aus$1,200 (€750/US$852) to actually receive the Aus$200 in ‘free’ bets.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched a suit relating to Betfair’s 10-month promotion, which ran during 2013-14, with the Federal Court finding in its favour last week and penalties to be determined at a future date.

“New customers who had not previously used such types of services were drawn into this web of deception,” Justice Jonathan Beach said.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims criticised the offer, stating it could prove attractive to more vulnerable consumers such as inexperienced gamblers and young people.

Sims told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “This judgement makes it clear that companies cannot use the word ‘free’ in offers to consumers where any conditions that seek to neutralise the 'free' nature of the offer are not clearly identified.

“Inducements like free bets run the risk of signing up new and inexperienced gamblers based on a deceptive claim.”

Bet365 is currently being investigated by Interpol in relation to a complaint by the regulatory Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) concerning its telephone betting service.

This week, two gaming companies - ClassicBet and Sportsbetting.com.au - were found guilty of offering illegal promotions to New South Wales citizens.

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