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Australia Plans to Ban In-Play Sportsbetting

The government of Australia is working on putting a ban on the controversial in-play sportsbetting that has been taking place in-country, eliminating the various workarounds that internet bookmakers have been using to facilitate bets online.

The move comes as the government is looking to stop the expansion of online betting services in Australia, and is looking through the Interactive Gaming Act to see what measures can be taken to protect players from problem gambling. Some measures in the bill include a national self-exclusion registry, the banning of lines of credit being extended to online players, and pre-commitment betting limits.

Commenting on the matter Australia's Social Services Minister Alan Tudge said, "The government does not intend to further expand the online betting market in Australia by legalising online in-play betting. 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."

Currently in-play betting is not allowed in Australia except for bets placed by telephone. Major sportsbooks like bet365 and Ladbrokes circumvent the measure by having punters click a button on their website to have the respective bookmaker call them, which allows the bets to then be placed. This new measure would take away that ability.

It is likely that such a move would push players offshore, where unlicensed sites generate revenues of several hundred million dollars from Aussie players.

Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise.

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auCL-Ed
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29 April 2016 - 6:53am
#1

Banning in-play betting altogether would be a stupid "head-in-the-sand" move but I won't be surprised to see it happen. People who want to do it will then move to offshore sites that aren't regulated in Australia and we all know how that goes for consumer protection. Like it or not the reality is it exists and the sensible thing to do is to deal with it responsibly.

That said, some of the other measures they are talking about are excellent ideas. A national self-exclusion registry is a no brainer, as is banning bookmakers from giving their customers lines of credit. I also think a pre-commitment scheme is also worth pursuing so people can't get in over their heads on the spur of the moment.

Personally I would like to see in-game betting advertising regulated and restricted. The quantity of obnoxious ads for bookmakers during sporting events here has gotten to the point of being ridiculous. We've even had idiot bookmakers being added to the commentary panels to discuss the games before, during, and after matches. Obviously I have no problem with people having a bet if they want to but the bookmakers' attempts to shove themselves in everyone's faces at all times has become really annoying.

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bgsharpe
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29 April 2016 - 10:12pm
#2

I've read all carefully and I'm not quite sure why in play betting is not allowed but click-to-call option is, which is the same thing I guess just makes things a little more complicated. I guess you could get addicted quicker if you place bets in play but it's also true that it gives you the highest possible chance of winning. Anyway hopefully this wont happen and Australian punters will have all the sportsbetting possibilities in future.

auCL-Ed
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30 April 2016 - 2:16am
#3

Online in-play betting is banned. In-play betting over the phone or in person at a betting shop is not. Click-to-call is the "too smart for their own good" workaround that the bookmakers developed to do exactly what the law is trying to prevent while technically still obeying the law. So now the law is going to be rewritten to completely ban it.

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romapika
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30 April 2016 - 3:27pm
#4

Why online in play betting is banned but in play betting over the phone is not? I can't understand this laws. Sports betting should be legal everywhere in all his forms.

auCL-Ed
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1 May 2016 - 11:17pm
#5

I think the idea was that if you made it harder for people to place a bet, people would place less bets. Obviously dialling the phone then telling the operator what you want to bet on and how much etc is more of a hassle than just doing it online. However now that the bookies have a button that you press that passes all the information about the bet to the operator before they answer and you basically just have to say yes to confirm, its really no different to just betting online.

As for why the government and others don't want people betting online in-play - from memory a study showed that people who do so wager a lot more than people who don't and rates of problem gambling are higher.

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bgsharpe
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3 May 2016 - 7:11pm
#6
CL-Ed wrote:

As for why the government and others don't want people betting online in-play - from memory a study showed that people who do so wager a lot more than people who don't and rates of problem gambling are higher.

That's true for sure, or at least from my betting experience and it's also quite logical to be that way but for me it's unquestionable truth that In play betting gives you a lot better chances than in pre game sports betting so.. the theme is quite controversial I think.

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