Entain has been given a fine of AUD$26,690 (roughly €16,600) by Australia’s Northern Territory Racing Commission for breaching bonus rules in the country. The fine was given when a representative from one of Entain’s subsidiaries handed out a QR code allowing access to bonuses.
The reported incident took place at the end of July at Fannie Bay Racecourse. It is alleged that a manager from the Entain subsidiary Neds provided a racegoer with a business card containing a QR Code. The conversation between the two parties was overheard by a member of the commission.
The manager told the racegoer that anyone who had the QR code and an account at Neds Casino could claim exclusive casino bonuses. It is also alleged that the manager encouraged the racegoer to share this with other people.
The member of the commission then asked the racegoer for the card and used it themselves to open an account. When they did this, they were greeted with three cash bonus offers.
Entain were quick to respond to the allegations. They acknowledged that the business manager in question was at Fannie Bay Racecourse on the 31st of July and admitted that the language that was used could be seen as a way of inducing players to gamble. They did, however, also state that the manager was acting without any approval from the company.
To help with the investigation, Entain also provided names of all of the people who had opened a new account on that date. They also provided information regarding the cash bonuses that were claimed.
Entain did argue that the QR code was not in violation of any rules. It said it was only able to be claimed by players who had already signed up and was not seen as an invitation to sign-up and gamble.
The Northern Territory Racing Commission rejected this defense. They ruled that Entain’s decision was in direct violation of a clause in the code of practice for gambling in Australia. This clause states that operators should not offer incentives for players to sign-up for a casino or sportsbook.
It said that the use of such business cards and the bonuses they offered was a clean inducement to gamble. It further rejected the company’s defense that the managers were acting without the company's consent. It pointed to the fact that the QR Code was on company business cards as evidence against the claim.
As a result of this, Entain was given the maximum fine of AUD$26,690. The option to suspend Entain’s gambling license was also a possibility but the authority opted against this.