BetEasy Hit With $50,000 Fine Following Licence Breaches

BetEasy receive a fine of more than $50,000 after it allowed a self-excluded problem gambler create a new account and lose $720,000.

The Northern Territory Racing Commission hit BetEasy with a $50,000 fine following the gambling company’s licence breach. Flutter Entertainment will pay the fine as owners of the now-defunct BetEasy brand.

A known self-excluded problem gambler was able to create a new account and lose almost $720,000. An investigation revealed BetEasy breached two of its licensing conditions by not performing sufficient checks to identify problem gambling.

The same investigation learned the mystery customer previously self-excluded from CrownBet, BetEasy’s predecessor. BetEasy and its affiliates knew the gambler due to the sheer amount of money he spent.

John Dow, a BetEasy affiliate, contacted the problem gambler in January 2019 and helped open a new account using the man’s wife. BetEasy staff spotted the residential address was the same as the self-excluded gambler. However, BetEasy allowed the account after receiving answers, some of which were incorrect, to its identity verification questions.

The problem gambling ran up $719,350 losses, which he and his wife attempted to claim back. BetEasy came to a private settlement in April 2021, one day before the commission was due to hear about the issue.

Commission Lambastes BetEasy For Failings

The commission heavily criticised BetEasy’s management for not taking responsibility for its affiliate’s actions.

“The commission’s view is that a licensee should accept responsibility for the activities of its affiliate. An unwillingness to do so does not reflect well on a licensee.”

BetEasy did not comply with the Code of Practice for Responsible Online Gambling on multiple occasions. The commission found BetEasy did not adhere to its own terms and conditions and had inadequate systems in place to protect problem gamblers.

The commission fined the gambling company $26,860 for each breach of its licence.

Not The First Time Gambling Company In Hot Water

This is not the first time BetEasy has found itself in the headlines for the wrong reasons. In September 2020, Renee Bell sued them for almost $1.2 million in unpaid winnings.

Bell took her case to the Supreme Court after BetEasy paid her only $250,000 from a $1,443,695.50 payout. Bell had $500 worth of multi-bets accepted by the bookmaker, and several of her selections won. She expected more than $1.44 million but the company only paid $250,000.

BetEasy referred to its terms and conditions, which state $250,000 is the maximum possible prize from multi-bets. Bell and her lawyers argued the bookie was happy to take her full stake, and that the betting slip clearly showed $1.44 million in potential winnings.

The case took a bizarre twist when Bell claimed she never opened a BetEasy account. She accused an unknown Crown Resorts employee of creating an account in her name. She claimed her not opening the account herself means she was never made away of the various terms and conditions. The Aussie gambling company attempted to recoup the $250,000 it paid stating only valid account holders can win prizes.

Sportsbet Absorbs Long-Running Rival

BetEasy is no longer a betting company after long-running rival Sportsbet absorbed it in April 2020. The Stars Group (TSG) owned the company while Flutter Entertainment owned Sportsbet. Flutter and TSG joined forces in a mega-merger, and decided to not have two Australia-facing betting companies.

Sportbet absorbed its rival after 99.19% of Flutter’s shareholder voted in favour of it. Sportsbet massively outperformed its rival in the quarter before the pair merged. Revenue for Sportsbet increased 21% to $109 million thanks to a 16% increase in new customers. Total money stake improved by 3%.

BetEasy saw revenue drop 2% to US$61 million. Worryingly, the company lost $7 million, 500% more than the previous reporting period. Make no wonder Flutter chose Sportsbet to carry the Australian betting flag.