Wednesday 16. December, 2015

Ladbrokes Australia Re-Launches In-Play Betting

Online operator, Ladbrokes, has reintroduced its in-play betting feature into the Australian market after the product was withdrawn in July. Their LivePlay product came under the spotlight when the Australian Communication and Media Agency (ACMA) claimed that it breached the Internet Gambling Act 2001 which does not allow online in-play betting, but does allow in-play betting via telephone or retail outlets.

The ACMA referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and following a challenge to the probe in October by bookmaker, William Hill, the AFP decided not to pursue the investigation. Ladbrokes Australia has now joined William Hill and Bet365 in offering this feature.

The bookmakers argue that the distinction between in-play betting via telephone and via the internet is outdated. Punters at the sites can now make use of the feature for in-play betting via their computer as long as their microphone is switched on.

The Barry O’Farrell review into online gambling is expected to discuss the issue of live betting and will be included in his submission to federal government later this week. This issue has dominated the Australian gambling sector this year.

Regarding in-play betting, researchers Chris Berg and Simon Breheny at the Institute of Public Affairs made a submission this week that argued in favour of regulating in-play betting.

“Live betting offers consumers more choice, greater participation in spectators sports and the opportunity to manage betting risk more responsibly,” they stated.

“Policymakers cannot assume that imposing their scepticism of the benefits of gambling is a reflection of the actual preferences of consumers.”

In addition, they argued that “the ban on live or ‘in the run’ betting is technologically illiterate and easy to avoid. Techniques that firms have used to arbitrage around the legislative framework demonstrate the weakness of legislative controls.”

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