What is bonus abuse fraud?
Bonus abuse fraud, also known as promo abuse fraud, is when a fraudster uses different identities to sign up at betting sites and online casinos, to claim the welcome promotions available with some of these betting sites.
Since May 27 2019, online wagering providers are banned from advertising any credit, voucher, reward or other benefit as an incentive to open an account. However, after you have created an account, betting agencies are free to offer you a welcome offer, which sometimes can include a deposit match. A deposit match is a matched amount of “bonus money” given to you by the bookmaker, depending on how much money you deposit into your account on that betting site.
The majority of people in Australia either don’t bet, or bet using one of the big corporate brands like Sportsbet or TAB. There are, however, over 140 licensed online betting sites in Australia.
Fraudsters, can use many peoples details, to sign up many accounts to betting sites, where some of these betting sites may offer a deposit match. The matched deposit amounts are usually around 100% or 50%, matched up to $100 in “bonus money”.
Betting sites and casinos that are available in New Zealand and some other countries, are still free to promote their sign up offers online.
How does this happen?
To sign up to a betting site, you only need your name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Some betting sites require your license number to verify your details. This means, it can be very easy for fraudsters to find these details online, from a possible data breach where your details have been leaked, or even as easy as social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn, if your details are online - or they could be someone you know.
Bonus abuse fraud can be considered a form of identity theft.
Most fraudsters who partake in bonus abuse, believe they are only cheating the system, as their victims were never going to open an account anyway, and see it as a victimless crime.
How common is it?
Some estimates suggest that bonus abuse fraud costs the online gaming industry 15% of gross revenue.
The online gambling revenue in Australia in 2022, was over $7.1 billion AUD. With types of gaming including sports betting (racing, football, E-sports) and online casinos (blackjack, slots, poker, live casino).
With estimates of bonus fraud costing 15% - this would cost the online gambling industry over $1 billion a year in Australia alone.
How do I know if I have been affected?
The only way to check if you have been affected by bonus abuse fraud, is by contacting, or signing up at a bunch of betting sites. The sign-up process is very easy and their systems will detect if there is already an account with any crossover of your name and address, phone number, or date of birth.
If there has been a breach, you will need to contact the betting site to shut down the account, and may need to provide credentials to prove you are you.
Although we cannot say which betting site offers what, we list all 140+ betting sites in Australia, if you want to see if you have been affected.
Or, you can check the top 20 betting sites in Australia that we have ranked below.
Top 20 betting sites in Australia
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