A South Australian bookmaker has been fined $1,200 for taking unauthorised bets, following an investigation by the state’s gambling regulator.
Complaints to SA’s Consumer and Business Services (CBS) alleged Mr Ian James Humphries accepted a series of telephone bets from a non-registered bettor over an eight-month period and failed to keep accurate records.
Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio said the bettor did not hold a betting account with the licensed bookmaker so debt that had accumulated was in breach of the Authorised Betting Operations Act.
“The licensed bookmaker has a registered telephone betting account number and dialing this number activates a recording of the call, however none of these bets were recorded nor were any betting tickets issued,” the Commissioner said.
Under a verbal agreement with the bettor, bets were placed via a mobile phone, either by a call or text message and were confirmed by a simple text reply of ‘ok’.
It was agreed if the bet was unsuccessful the bettor would transfer money to the licensed bookmaker’s account or pay face-to-face. If bets were successful, Mr Humphries would pay winnings into the bettor’s account or in person.
Evidence also included claims that bets between the two had carried on for a considerable period, and at one point, the outstanding debt to the bettor had reached up to $18,000.
Following CBS’s investigation, the matter was referred to the Independent Gambling Authority (IGA) for its consideration. The IGA found Mr Humphries had failed to comply with the rules applying to his bookmaker’s licence, and imposed a fine of $1,200.
Mr Soulio said there are clear rules for account betting.
“The Bookmakers Licensing Rules stipulate that a licensed bookmaker may only make a credit bet in respect of a bettor who has an established account.
“This is a reminder to licensed bookmakers across the state that they need to operate within the law and should be keeping accurate records of all bets and transactions.
“Punters should be responsible in their betting by ensuring they deal with bookmakers who provide evidence of all bets that are made,” he said.
For more information about gambling in South Australia or to make a complaint visit the cbs.sa.gov.au or call 131 882.
Don’t let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble responsibly. Help is available through the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.