Over the course of the past year, there has been a legal debate over whether or not in-play betting should be banned in Australia among local operators. Recently, the government has reviewed the issue, and decided that in-play betting will continue to remain prohibited.
The federal government had considered whether or not Australia’s betting market should be expanded by including this type of wagering in bookmakers’ repertoires. For some time, local bookmakers were confident that they would be permitted to offer their services to players but the government has not ruled in their favour.
“The government does not intend to further expand the online betting market in Australia by legalising online in-play betting,” says Alan Tudge, Social Services Minister.
Previously some betting sites used a loophole that allowed players to place online in-play bets so long as their computers microphones were turned on. This click-to-call service was eventually discovered by gaming law regulators, and government officials are now working on a way to close the loophole to ensure that players cannot place live bets online in any form.
“The government considers ‘click-to-call’ in-play betting services are breaching the provisions and intent of the Interactive Gambling Act. The government will therefore introduce legislation to clarify the Act as soon as possible.”
Local bookmakers like Crown Bet and William Hill are not pleased with the ruling, calling it ‘archaic’. They argue that the in-play betting ban will only further push punters to continue playing at offshore betting sites where they are permitted to make live wagers during games.
However, the government is considering imposing disruption tactics which will stop overseas bookmakers from offering their services to Australian players. This will include stopping blocking foreign gaming websites and working with bank to stop payments to these operators.