Bet365 Fined Over “Misleading” Ad Campaign
Bet365’s Massive $2.75 Million Fine
Bet365 Group Limited is an Internet gambling group that is headquartered in the United Kingdom. They have just been slapped with a massive fine for telling customers that they were handing out a total of $200 in free wagers. The fine is for a cool $2.75 million and was for dishonest behavior.
The company ran a promotion that was called “$200 Free Bets for New Customers.” The promotional period had a duration of nine months and began in March of 2013. The promotion had a catch. Customers couldn’t access their free bets until they successfully deposited $200 in advance. They didn’t only have to deposit the funds, either. They also had to play them. Customers couldn’t make use of the free bets until they were willing to part with their own cash.
The promotion had yet another requirement. Customers didn’t only have to play their deposits in order to access their free bets. They also had to play their deposits (and the entire bonus amount) three whole times prior to being able to take their money out. Players theoretically had to bet no less than $1,200 to be able to access anything they won. The requirements didn’t even end with that. Players were not eligible for their free bets unless their wagers had odds that were higher than 1.5.
Federal court ordered Bet365 Group Limited to pay the large fine on Friday, June 10th, 2016. The court stated that the company’s actions were irresponsible and careless. The court also stated that the company’s actions had caused a lot of distress to its customers.
Bet365 Group Limited’s fine is particularly hefty. In fact, it’s the biggest fine an Internet gambling firm has actually ever even received. It covers close to 10 percent of the company’s $29 million profits between the months of March 2013 and March 2014. These profits all came from customers in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission initiated the lawsuit against Bet365 Group Limited. The organization initiated this lawsuit as just one component in a much bigger plan. The organization aims to solve all kinds of “free” gambling specials that are frequently seen on the Internet.
Rod Sims serves as the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. He noted that Bet365 Group Limited’s problematic offer was the most severe he’s seen. He also noted, however, that competing Internet betting firms often run promotions that are a lot like it. He indicated that those other companies would also receive contact from his organization.
Bet365 Group Limited didn’t ignore its new punishment. The company stated that the problem came about due to what they call an “unintentional software error.” The firm also indicated that they had resolved the issue prior to speaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding the matter. Bet365 Group Limited revealed that they constantly do whatever is necessary to make sure that their customers fully understand their offered services and products. The company is going to focus on strengthening training practices for its team members moving forward.