Fri, Mar 31, 9:09am by Staff Writer
If you were commuting in peak-hour on Thursday morning in Sydney’s Martin Place, then you may have been handed an early-morning sugar hit by Tabcorp, and although the jelly beans may have been sweet, the aftertaste may be sour for the gambling giant.
Here’s why, the betting giant was handing out the treats to anyone who put their hand out for one, with the slogan on the packet branding the company’s website and reading ‘nothing’s as sweet as a win’.
Although the giveaway is technically legal, it has been condemned by the Greens, who believe that it could breach gambling ad laws due to the lack of warnings on the packets and.
It could also be construed as promoting gambling to children. The maximum fine for a breach would be $5,500, which for a company with an annual revenue of about $2 billion, shouldn’t worry them too much.
The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) oversees and regulates advertising and could ask Tabcorp to pull the ad but experts say that the lolly handout may not count as an ad.
ASB do not have the power to enforce fines, that is up to the Liquor & Gaming office of NSW, who must decide if the handout breaches the state’s legislation.
Justin Field, a Greens MLC for New South Wales, was not impressed when he was interviewed on Triple J radio on Thursday evening.
Mr Field said that there were three people dressed in Tabcorp shirts standing at a busy Martin Place and “most people were getting handed a packet of jellybeans.”
“We know they’re going to go in people’s bags and be thrown on the table at the end of the day and end up in the hands of kids,” and that it was a ‘new low’.
Tabcorp returned serve on the same radio station by saying that the promotion targeted people aged 25 or over and was carried out to mark the horseracing championships, which begin at Randwick on Saturday.
According to the gambling giant, mints and stress balls were also given away and the products featured no or direct encouragement to place a bet or had any mention of odds.
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