AFL Wants Changes To Online Gambling Laws

Published Wednesday, April 08, 2009 -

The English Premier League of soccer is the template that managers of the Australian Football League want to use allowing online gamblers to wager on games while in progress. Punters would be able to gamble at any point in the match on different aspects, winner, looser, highest scorer, or margins. At least 75 per cent of all English Premier League wagering is made while matches are being played, noting that the live odds are less than stable.

Existing legislation prevents Australian betting operators from taking bets after the match has started. The Rudd Government is thought to be open to the legislation changes, although critics warn it will cause massive increases in problem gambling.

Betfair in Australia estimates that local web restrictions are costing the online gambling industry in Australia $300 million a year to overseas operators. Documents filed for an inquiry by the Australian Federal Government into gambling it is noted the AFL calls for these changes to the Interactive Gambling Act.

The document reads, "In-play betting is extremely popular worldwide as a form of gambling, and if consumers are not able to access it online in Australia, they might elsewhere with overseas operators," "It seems inconsistent that a consumer can bet 'in-play' via telephone but not online. "Specifically, the AFL would like to suggest amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, such that betting online during sports events, or after an event has commenced, is no longer prohibited."

The AFL also stated it is loosing money because it does not have a product fee relationship with overseas betting shops. As things stand now the AFL takes in around $2 million a season through partnerships with Betfair and Tabcorp, a figure that's expected to double should the legislation be changed in the leagues favour.

"Australia is the only jurisdiction in the world that allows online wagering but at the same time prevents punters from using the internet to place in-play bets."

Brian Walsh an AFL spokesperson said, "If the prohibition continues, it will encourage Australians to gamble with unregulated and unauthorised offshore operators, which will hinder the AFL's integrity measures and ability to monitor wagering on our game,"

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