Online Gambling Operator Bet365 Misled Customers

Published Monday, September 14, 2015 -
Online Gambling Operator Bet365 Misled Customers

Australia is in the process of reassessing their online gambling laws in an effort to reign in the activity. A recent post by a number of sources suggests the government is getting serious about violations regarding online betting in Australia.  

A complaint launched with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission a year ago alleged in Federal Court that the online gambling operator Bet365 had mislead and deceived customers by offering free bets to new consumers during a 10-month promotion that ran during 2013-14. The Australian division of Bet365 was found guilty of misleading consumers with the ‘free bet’ offers. The ad that violated the rules offered a $200 ‘free bet’ for new customers but required punters to wager the value of their deposit and the bonus three times before being allowed to make any withdrawals. The offer was up on the Bet365 site for almost a year and there was no mention of the terms and conditions for the offer. Bet365 has reasoned the omission was a software glitch. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in court that the bets were not actually “free”, but required players to gamble almost Aus$1,200 before accessing the bets.

Documents presented at the hearing showed the Bet365 main page displaying a headline offer of “$200 free bets for new customers”, while from February this year the page presented the banner, “Up to $200 deposit bonus for new customers”.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Justice Jonathan Beach said, “New customers who had not previously used such types of services were drawn into this web of deception,”

Chairperson Rod Sims of the ACCC was critical of the offer stating, “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.” Sims added, “Inducements like free bets run the risk of signing up new and inexperienced gamblers based on a deceptive claim.”


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