One of the world’s largest internet sports betting agencies lured novice punters with a false free bets promotion, the Federal Court has ruled.
A 10-month promotion run by Bet365 in 2013 and 2014 offered $200 in free bets for new customers, but the competition watchdog took legal action, claiming customers had to gamble their deposit and the promotion bonus three times before being able to withdraw any winnings.
The Federal Court has found in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s favour, ruling Bet365’s Australian and UK companies, Hillside (Australia New Media) and Hillside (Shared Services), had misled and deceived customers.
“New customers who had not previously used such types of services were drawn into this web of deception,” Justice Jonathan Beach said in his judgement.
The ACCC failed to in its attempt to have other allegations of deception found against the company, or its ultimate holding company Bet365 Group.
A separate trial will be held to determine penalties.