Wednesday 3. February, 2016

Racing Australia Calls for Complete Ban on In-Play Betting

Racing Australia has called for a complete ban on in-play betting for all sports as it warns it could lead to corruption and a breakdown of the integrity of sports. Their opinion comes at the same time as Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Alan Tudge, is preparing the government’s response to former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell’s review into online gambling legislation.

“We feel so strongly about the threat that in-play betting poses to integrity that we believe that the loophole in the Interactive Gambling Act that allows in-play betting on races should be closed,” Peter McGauran, CEO of Racing Australia told The Australian in an interview.

The Internet Gambling Act 2001 does not allow for in-play betting other than at retail outlets or by telephone and only for horse racing. This issue has been in the news lately as in August the Australian Media and Communications Authority (AMCA) referred to the police regarding William Hill who offered a ‘click and call’ feature on their website that allowed in-play betting. The bookmaker argued that the distinction between online and telephonic in-play betting is outdated and the AFP decided not to proceed with the case and William Hill and other online bookmakers continue to offer this feature.

In-play betting is a major topic of the government’s online gambling review with many sectors of the industry offering submissions on the matter. McGauran, on behalf of Racing Australia, has urged the government to “eliminate loopholes currently being exploited by certain Australia-based operators to circumvent the existing prohibition.”

“Apart from the clear and immediate threat to integrity from illegal online bookmaking, the revenue loss over time will significantly damage one of Australia’s leading industries and its 200,000 employees.”

Their submission has also recommended that Internet access is blocked to offshore gambling sites.

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