Sunday 20. March, 2016

Tatts Group and AWC Argue Over the Impact of a Ban on In-Play Betting

Major International online bookmakers have called on the federal government to legalise live in-play betting, opposing the closing of a legal loophole that would ban the practice. The Australian Wagering Council (AWC), which represents major online sportsbooks such as William Hill, Sportsbet, Bet365 and Betfair has argued that Australian punters will simply move to illegal offshore bookmakers if the practice is banned in Australia.

“The simple truth is Australians will continue to bet in-play via the Internet with unlicensed offshore providers until reform is achieved to allow Australian licensed and regulated wagering operators to offer the product,” stated Ian Fletcher, chief executive at the AWC.

“The true threat to the integrity of racing and sports comes from illegal offshore operators, with whom Australian punters now choose to wager in their droves, due to the antiquated restrictions in accessing in-play betting online in Australia.”

However, some operators have welcomed the changes coming from Canberra as they plan to implement the recommendations in the O’Farrell review and overhaul the Australian online gambling sector.

Tatts Group, in particular, was fiercely critical of the view of the AWC saying that there is little evidence that Australian punters are so taken with this betting method that they are moving to offshore illegal operators for it. Tatts is of the view that the push by International online bookmakers for the legalisation of live in-play betting is simply an attempt to gain an additional source of revenue in the competitive Australian gambling market.

“This is a logical decision and the one I think everyone expected,” stated Anthony Ball, executive director of Clubs Australia which represents Australia’s 6,500 licensed clubs. “It surely wouldn’t even surprise those who have been exploiting loopholes in order to offer in-play online betting against the spirit of the law up until now.”

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