Tue, Jan 28, 6:43pm by Dominic Ciconte
Simbet featured a link to allfreebets.com.au – a real-money-orientated sports gambling website – prominently in the website’s “Check Out” section.
This week Simbet had gained national attention for its sarcastic, controversial approach to raising awareness on gambling’s effect on children and the saturation of bookmaker advertising.
In a series of clever, sarcastic quotes and testimonials from ‘happy gambling children’, the website claimed to have taken its inspiration from the Federal Government’s Kidbet campaign. The Simbet app, to be released this February, played up the joke in its blatant, uber-obvious approach to lure children into gambling.
After initially having being reported as an anti-gambling group, the status of Simbet and its overall purpose is now unclear.
Upon investigating the site, Australiangambling.com.au found the link to the affiliate site in question. It is pictured below:
Following AG questions on its existence, Simbet promptly removed the link from the website and then clarified that it was not actually an anti-gambling group.
“We are not exactly an anti-gambling group,” said a Simbet Spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that the link featured on the website as part of a pre-existing agreement upon purchasing the domain from allfreebets.com.au’s owners.
“The owners of All Free Bets sold us the domain “simbet.com” and part of that deal was to include a link back to their site to help with their search engine rankings.”
When contacted by Australiangambling, another industry insider questioned the placement of the link.
“It is a common, yet widely frowned upon practice to generate ‘unnatural’ links from other websites, pointing to yours, in order to manipulate search engines into believing your website is more important than it is. I certainly would not recommend it and I’d question the thinking behind it’s inclusion,” the industry expert said.
The launch and overall goal of a play-money gambling application that can be used by children, youths and adults-alike now remains unclear.
According to its website, the focus of Simbet has changed.
“The initial purpose of SimBet was to try and create a huge outrage on social media that would force changes to advertising sports betting during live matches. We had some feedback from high profile people that essentially told us we are wasting our time. In response to this we decided to withdraw our threat of launching SimBet and just go through with the launch – no matter what.”
The website then goes on to say that Simbet is no longer just about children, but also creating an application that can be used by adults.
“We would like to make it clear that SimBet is not JUST for kids. Yes, under 18s will be allowed to play SimBet because there is no “real money” gambling taking place, but this market is not 100 per cent of our focus. We have thrown in many additional features that makes SimBet much more than just a simulated betting platform for kids.”
When asked about profits that could come from the Simbet website and application, the Spokesperson said that Simbet “was not owned by one person”, and that there were no plans to profit from the website or app “at this stage”.
“It will be 100 per cent free with no advertising. The plan is to grow the user base and that’s it,” the spokesperson said.
“We have tried to clear this up on a number of occasions, but SimBet will not launch in the way that many people think it will.”
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