Australian Regulator Takes bet365 to Court

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken to court UK-headquartered gambling operator bet365 over allegations that it has breached the Australian consumer regulation and presented its Australia-based customers with “misleading representations” concerning its free bet and deposit bonus offerings.

The legal proceedings were initiated after a customer’s complaint was filed in Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory.

The ACCC claimed that bet365 tried to convey the misleading message that all its new customers are eligible for AU$200 in bets with no restrictions. It turned out, however, that the offers featured certain conditions that were not explicitly stated.

The ACCC pointed out that customers of bet365 were supposed to first pay and bet their own AU$200, in order to receive the same sum in a free bet or deposit bonus. What is more, they could withdraw their winnings, if any, only after they have bet three times the sum of their deposit or bonus within a three-month period.

The regulatory body explained that any bettor who deposited the initial amount of AU$200 and was awarded the same sum in bets was supposed to bet AU$1,200 more within 90 days, in order to be able to obtain his or her winnings.

The ACCC shared with local media that it will look for injunctions, penalties, corrections in bet365’s advertising campaigns, and so on. The commission also noted that the gambling operator has implemented certain changes in its website after it was informed about the regulator’s allegations.

Earlier today, Cameron Moore, who is taking the position of a senior counsel for the UK-based gaming company, stated that the ACCC will have to explain its concerns about bet365 in a comprehensive manner. He also added that this should be done before the trial, which is set to take place towards the end of March.

Rod Sims, chairman of the commission, pointed out that consumer-related issues are of the utmost importance. He also said that being a constantly growing sector, online gambling should be properly regulated. This is why Mr. Sims emphasized that the Australian consumer regulations apply to that particular sector in the same way they apply to all other sectors and industries.

Bet365 is managed by joint CEO and founder Denise Coates. It was established back in 2000 and currently employs more than 2,100 people. Apart from sports betting, it also offers casino games, poker, bingo, and sporting events video streaming.

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