Entain, owners of Ladbrokes, Coral, and PartyPoker have been fined by the Northern Territories Racing Commission for offering sign-up bonuses to Australian punters. The Racing Commission concluded the operator had violated the Racing and Betting Act 1983.Its NT brand Neds holds a sports betting license in the Northern Territories, which forbids offering credit, vouchers, or rewards to incentivise customers to register and open new accounts. Entain offered QR Codes to customers for ‘bonus cash’ which violated the terms of the license.
Managers Offering Bonus to New Punters
Attending the Darwin’s Fannie Bay racecourse, a commission member witnessed a conversation between a NEDs rep and a racegoer. The rep said the bonus is available to any individual who opens an account with the operator using the QR Code on business cards they were distributing. On opening an account, the commission member was indeed offered a choice of three cash bonuses between $150 to $250.During the race day meeting, a number of punters signed up for the deal with one receiving $1,000 in bonuses after depositing $1,000 into their new account. Entain admitted two Neds business development managers attended the racecourse, but both denied allegations of offering non-existing customers bonuses.The Managers claimed they only offered match bonuses to existing customers which is permitted under the license, and not to newly signed up members.The commission said Entain had issued business cards with QR Codes to the managers with the intention of offering bonuses to newly signed up customers and they remain fully responsible.The commission commented, “The commission is of the view that these business cards have been issued by Entain to the Ned managers for the main purpose of inducing non-existing customers to open an account on the promise of a bonus cash offer. “There seems to be no other plausible reason to include a QR Code which automatically provides bonus cash offers upon a new account being opened.”
It’s not the first time Entain has come up against the wrath of the Commission, back in 2019, its brand Ladbrokes handed out more than 400 cash cards worth $20 each to new customers.Bearing in mind the previous breach and the new violation the Commission decided against suspending Entain’s license, instead, issuing the maximum fine of $26,690. However, the commission has stated they would take stricter action if Entain breaches regulation in the future.