BlueBet Penalized for Breaching Advertising Regulations in Victoria

BlueBet faces repercussions after being found guilty of 43 charges related to displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads, contravening the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 in Victoria. The charges stem from a thorough investigation initiated by the VGCCC following a public complaint.

During a two-week span in August and September 2022, BlueBet’s adverts surfaced on digital billboards positioned along freeways, catching the attention of commuters. The VGCCC’s scrutiny culminated in legal action against BlueBet, with the case proceeding to court.

Judicial Scrutiny and Verdict

During the court proceedings, Magistrate Greg Thomas expressed skepticism regarding BlueBet’s assertion of ignorance regarding the legal breaches. He emphasized the strategic placement of the billboards targeting a specific demographic, making it challenging to believe the company was unaware of the violations. While no conviction was recorded, Thomas underscored the “high degree” of negligence if the breaches were indeed accidental.

Despite not facing a conviction, BlueBet was ordered to pay a fine of $50,000, with Thomas indicating a potential $70,000 fine if not for mitigating factors. The company also committed to covering all associated costs agreed upon with the VGCCC. BlueBet’s cooperation with authorities and implementation of measures to prevent future breaches influenced the final penalty.

Annette Kimmitt, CEO of VGCCC, emphasized the importance of safeguarding vulnerable groups from exposure to gambling advertisements in public spaces. She reiterated that such displays conflict with community values and everyday activities, sending a resolute message to wagering providers regarding compliance with regulations.

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