The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Miami-based micro-betting operator Betr has agreed to pay a six-figure fine of AUD210,000 ($142,365) to the New South Wales gaming regulator after it was found to have breached advertising laws in a controversial promotion it ran last year. Betr was offering 100-1 odds for bets up to AUD10 ($6.78) on any horses racing in the Melbourne Cup.
News Corp Executives Resign from Betr Board Amid Financial Setbacks and Regulatory Penalty
Betr has argued that it did not violate any advertising laws and that it had offered the promotion in accordance with the guidance published by Liquor & Gaming NSW.
This is the first time that the NSW regulator has issued a fine instead of prosecuting the matter in court. The record penalty issued by Liquor & Gaming NSW is under the Betting and Racing Act, where Betr could face a maximum fine of up to AUD110,000 ($74,571) for each public ad. The regulator has declined to comment on the matter.
Betr has been facing several financial setbacks, which have led to speculation about the future of the company. The two News Corp executives, Peter Blunden and Mark Reinke, who sat on the Betr board, have recently resigned from their positions, amidst industry rumors about News Corp’s discontent regarding Betr’s 100-1 promotion.
Betr Denies Wrongdoing and Seeks to Collaborate with NSW Government on Advertising Issues
Betr denies offering special odds or making the promotion available to any non-existing customers. The company has said that it would like to work with the NSW government to resolve the differing views over the legality of the advertisements.
The start-up is also expected to make an announcement unveiling a reconfigured board in the coming weeks but is currently operating with two directors, UK-based Benjamin Shaw and the group’s founder, Matthew Tripp. The company secretary is Trent Whitney, who formerly worked with Tripp as the chief financial officer of BetEasy and Crown Bet.
Betr was launched as a joint venture between News Corp, Las Vegas-based investment firm Tekkorp Capital and ASX-listed BetMakers Technology Group. According to documents submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission this year, the share structure of Betr has only been altered by a single injection from Tripp’s company, TGW, in February, which resulted in News Corp’s 47% stake being diluted. While News Corp had been consistently increasing its stake in the company during the latter part of last year, it has not made any additional investments in Betr since before Christmas.