The free $5 betting voucher cannot be redeemed for cash unless it is used at the betting tables and the player wins. Along with the voucher, shoppers and city workers received a promotional card – featuring the image of an L-plate and an offer to ”learn to play blackjack”. The offer included a requirement that punters join the casino’s ”absolute rewards” program.
The authority said handing out free bets did not break the law but the method of luring novice punters to play blackjack might.
”While free bet vouchers for gaming tables can be offered by the casino, the authority will examine the method of distribution for the ‘Learn to play Blackjack tournament’ promotion to ensure it is consistent with responsible gambling practices,” the authority’s spokesman, Mark Nolan, said in a statement to The Sun-Herald. ”The authority is unaware of the casino previously adopting this method of distribution (ie models distributing vouchers to the general public on a city street).”
A spokesman for the Star, Brad Schmitt, said the casino would comply with any direction from the authority if a breach had occurred.
The anti-gambling campaigners Tim Costello and Senator Nick Xenophon said all inducements should be made illegal, as they are in other states.