Published: Wed, May 18, 2016
World | By Carl Welch

Australian Government Targets Online Gambling Operators as it closes In-Play Betting Loophole

Australian Government Targets Online Gambling Operators as it closes In-Play Betting Loophole

The Federal Government of Australia recently implemented a crackdown on in-play sports betting by closing down a loophole that online gambling operators had been exploiting. The move means that Australians will no longer be able to place bets online during play and has threatened to erode the market share of some of the world’s leading gambling operators in the country. It is worth noting however, that some gambling operators are already looking to work around the ban, while conventional online gambling will not be affected by the new ruling. 

Australian Government Moves to enforce in-play Betting Law

In Australia, in-play betting is only possible if the wagers are placed over the phone. The ban on the practise online was already in place but had been continually flouted by many offshore platforms that continued to offer online betting on live sporting events. The government is also looking to introduce new laws that will make it illegal for offshore sites to offer the illegal wagering as well as providing lines of credit to Australian citizens.

In addition to enforcing the ban on in-play betting, the Australian Government announced that it would also use existing laws to clamp down on the practise of international players lending aggressively to online customers.

Gambling Operators Deploy a Workaround

Some operators have not taken the enforcement of the ban lying down however, with bookmaker William Hill controversially offering a click-to-call service which enables voice calls to be made online. In addition, the ban does not affect conventional online slot sites such as Royal Vegas Casino Australia as they do not involve in-play betting. What is clear is that despite a move to enforce the law to protect its citizens, the federal government in Australia clearly has a fight on its hands to ensure its laws are complied with.

Reprieve for Local Wagering Platforms 

In closing the in-play betting loophole that had long been exploited by several large international gambling operators, the Australian Government has given its local wagering providers a reprieve in the fight for market share against the larger offshore platforms. Local operators had seen their market share eroded by the bigger and better-funded offshore provider in recent years.

Only time will tell if the law can be properly enforced and complied within the country. However, with over half of the 1.6 billion yearly revenues generated by the online gambling industry in Australia going to foreign companies, it could be argued that the federal government has rightly acted in the best interest of the country.


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