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UBET in trouble again for irresponsible gambling advertising

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TATTS online betting site, UBET, has come under fire for a poster which encourages problem gambling.

The Advertising Standards Bureau has recalled an unauthorised UBET poster displayed at the Jubilee Hotel Brisbane, according to Mumbrella.

The poster was promoting “BIGGEST SATURDAYS LOSER”, which ran from 12 pm to 4 pm every Saturday. The ad stated that betting bonuses were on offer to gamblers every half an hour, plus a $25 redemption punt was available for the ‘biggest’ loser.

Complaints reportedly stated that UBET was deliberately promoting irresponsible gambling and that the poster did not include the mandatory responsible gambling message.

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UBET has responded to the complaints, claiming that the poster had been created by the pub, which offers Tatt’s services in Brisbane pubs and clubs, without its knowledge.

“Unfortunately in this instance the Agent has failed to provide the promotional material to UBET for review prior to the promotion being made available in-store,” UBET said in a statement.

“As such, UBET did not have an opportunity to review the promotional concept or the associated creative before it was made available to customers and remind the Agent of their responsible gambling obligations.

“UBET has now issued a breach notice to the licence holder of the agency.”

It’s not the first time UBET has been in trouble for breaching advertising standards. The sports betting company was fined $2000 for illegal advertising in January for its NFL Super Bowl promotion.

The offer featured $25 cash back on teams which won the Conference Final but not the Super Bowl to new punters.

Liquor and Gambling NSW found that it breached the Betting and Racing Regulation 2012, which bans online bookmakers from advertising offers to NSW punters that act as an inducement to open a betting account.

The NSW regulator fined UBET again for a television advertisement which promoted irresponsible drinking and gambling. The ad featured intoxicated people chatting in a pub, while also instructing people on how to bet on the National Rugby League (NRL).

The betting site was also found guilty of encouraging punters to join the service via a rewards points system in the ad.

While the advertising watchdog upheld the complaint, UBET will be challenging the ruling and requesting an independent review.

Tatts tie-up with Tabcorp update

Tatts, the parent company of UBET, is in the middle of a merger with retail wagering giant, Tabcorp. However, the betting site is facing a period of uncertainty after the Federal Court approved an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and sent it back to the Australian Competition Tribunal.

The Tribunal will review the original application to merge on October 24, along with new evidence which has emerged since the initial hearing in May. It includes the announcement of a point of consumption (POC) tax on corporate bookmakers by the Western Australian government set to be introduced by 2019. South Australia implemented a 15 POC tax in July, while several other states are also interested in introducing a state-based tax. The federal government has revealed it wants a percentage of the state-based POC taxes, which could have an even greater impact on the corporate bookmaker industry.

It’s not clear if Tatts and Tabcorp will bypass state-based taxes, should they merge.