Sole trader Noah Rose, trading as BetDeluxe, has paid a $50,172 infringement notice as part of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) crackdown on spam-unsubscribing rules.
An ACMA investigation found BetDeluxe sent over 104,000 SMS without an unsubscribe function and more than 820,000 SMS that did not contain the sender’s contact details.
The SMS, sent between December 2021 and February 2022, advertised a ‘cheeky punt’ and ‘VIP service’ on sports and racing, and promoted bonus bets and money-back offers.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said it is unacceptable to send commercial messages with no way for consumers to opt out.
“We received complaints from a significant number of people, with many expressing their frustration about receiving promotions for gambling,” she said.
“Any spam can be annoying, but when gambling is involved the risk of financial and emotional harm can be pronounced, so it’s important that wagering operators take compliance very seriously.”
The ACMA has also accepted a two-year court-enforceable undertaking from BetDeluxe committing the business to an independent review of its e-marketing practices, and to make improvements where required. BetDeluxe must also give regular compliance reports to the ACMA and provide spam training to its staff.
“We will be closely monitoring BetDeluxe’s compliance and the legally binding commitments it has made to the ACMA,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
This is the second ACMA spam enforcement outcome regarding an online wagering provider in the past 12 months. In February 2022, Sportsbet paid $3.7 million in penalties and customer refunds following an ACMA investigation.
“The online gambling industry, including the smaller players, should be on notice that the ACMA is actively monitoring for indications of non-compliance with the spam rules, and the penalties can be serious.”
Over the past 18 months, businesses have paid over $6.4 million in penalties for breaching spam and telemarketing laws. The ACMA has also accepted 13 court-enforceable undertakings and given one formal warning.
Enforcing SMS and email unsubscribe rules is a 2022-23 compliance priority for the ACMA. Other recent ACMA spam enforcement actions can be found here.
Consumers can make a complaint about spam.
For more information on how to reduce unwanted emails, texts and phone calls, visit the ACMA website.