Saturday, 23 Sep 2023

Sports gambling giants Ladbrokes and Neds first to be fined under Australias in-play betting laws

Sports gambling giants Ladbrokes and Neds first to be fined under Australias in-play betting laws


Sports gambling giants Ladbrokes and Neds first to be fined under Australias in-play betting laws

Sports gambling giants Ladbrokes and Neds are the first companies to be fined by the Australian media regulator for accepting in-play bets after a game has begun.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma) found the companies, which are owned by Entain, accepted 78 illegal bets on the LIV golf tournament in Bangkok last year.

The $13,200 fine is minuscule in comparison to the turnover Ladbrokes and Neds generate in an industry worth an estimated $50bn annually, but is the maximum fine that can be imposed by Acma.

Online in-play bets were banned by the federal government more than two decades ago but can still be placed in person at Tabcorp venues or over the phone. They allow punters opportunities to bet as the game continues and can distort markets, as scouts at games quickly feed information to gamblers after key moments and before odds adjust.

Acma chair Nerida O'Loughlin said the ban on in-play bets was necessary to protect vulnerable people.

"Online in-play betting increases the risk for those people experiencing gambling harm as it provides fast outcomes and allows for higher frequency of bets," O'Loughlin said.

According to Acma, Entain claimed the breach was due to its parent company entering the wrong start times for the tournament in its system. The company became aware of the breach when contacted by a customer three hours after play had started.

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