Australia Exposes In-Play Betting Violations by Leading Gambling Brands

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has disclosed significant breaches in in-play betting rules by four major online gambling brands. Notably, Ladbrokes and bet365 are among those identified.

The violations involved the use of 'Fast/Quick Codes' for in-play betting on sports. These codes, which facilitate the building of in-play wagers, contravened the norms set by Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The Act explicitly prohibits in-play betting on sports matches, except under specific conditions such as making a bet over the phone.

How Fast/Quick Were Abused

The process typically requires players to obtain a Fast/Quick code from an operator’s website or app. This code contains the event, bet selection, and type of the in-play bet. The player then quotes this code during a phone call to finalize the bet.

However, ACMA highlighted that the operators in question, Ladbrokes, bet365, Neds, and Sportsbet, deviated from this protocol. They generated unique codes for each in-play bet via their websites or apps. This method bypassed the requisite phone call, thus breaching the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

ACMA Refrains to Enforcement Action

Despite these infringements, ACMA has refrained from taking enforcement action against the brands. The authority acknowledged that these companies have amended their practices to align with the regulations. Now, Fast/Quick Codes will be created before events start and will be uniform for all customers.

Although no immediate penalties are imposed, ACMA has emphasized its commitment to investigating any violations of gambling regulations. In a related development, ACMA has taken steps against 11 illegal gambling websites, requesting internet service providers to block them. These websites, including Greenspin and Slotman, violated the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Since 2019, ACMA has blocked numerous illegal gambling sites and services, intensifying its efforts to regulate the online gambling landscape in Australia.

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