UK betting firm Ladbrokes has announced that they have pulled their online live sports product in Australia, after the government filed charges against a variety of betting firms that offered the service.
Under Australian law, it is illegal for operators to offer in-play sports bets over the internet, although wagers can be placed over the phone or at a retail shop. Groups like Ladbrokes circumvented the rule by having an option that allowed punters to place bets using their computer but by having a microphone active. The move to stop offering the product comes as the government moves to introduce stricter laws to clamp down on the loophole, and Ladbrokes is calling the move a good faith gesture.
For their part, Ladbrokes spoke out about the decision, with Australian CEO Dean Shannon commenting and taking shots at rivals Tatts and Tabcorp. "They really just made their decision on who lobbied the hardest and the loudest that being Tatts and Tabcorp," Shannon said. "If you look at clients who are betting on sports around the world, they're allowed to bet in-play. And I think in this day and age with people living through their mobiles and online, it makes a lot of sense for people to be able to still bet using the devices they use for everything else."