VGCCC fines BlueBet $50,000 for gambling advertising breaches

Melbourne, Victoria
Image: Shutterstock

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission in Australia has issued a A$50,000 fine to BlueBet for gambling advertising breaches.

The VGCCC found BlueBet guilty of 43 charges of displaying gambling advertising on or above a public road, which is an offence under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.  

The commission conducted an investigation into the operator following a complaint from a member of the public. BlueBet was charged in August 2023.

During a two-week period in August and September 2022, BlueBet’s gambling advertising was present on digital billboards in five different locations:

  • Princes Freeway on the Point Cook Road Overpass (Laverton)    
  • Princes Freeway on the Princes Highway Overpass (Point Cook)    
  • Western Freeway Melton – Werribee Road (Rockbank)    
  • Western Freeway before Ballarat Road Overpass (Ravenhall)    
  • Princes Freeway on Sneydes Road Overpass (Werribee) 

The VGCCC stated that Magistrate Greg Thomas “found it difficult to accept BlueBet’s defence that they didn’t know they were breaching the law, given the prime position of the billboards to target males aged 15-54 years old”. 

The commission also said that Magistrate Thomas did not record a conviction, but claimed that if the breaches were accidental, it showed “a high degree of negligence” by BlueBet.   

In addition, Magistrate Thomas noted that he would have fined BlueBet $70,000 and recorded a conviction, but took into account the operator’s guilty plea, cooperation with the VGCCC and the changes implemented to prevent these breaches from being repeated. 

Commenting on the verdict, VGCCC CEO, Annette Kimmitt AM, said: “Gambling advertising has no place on public roads where it is readily visible to children and other vulnerable groups. These places are especially difficult to avoid as part of day-to-day activities.

“This decision sends a clear message to wagering providers that flout these protections for our community.”