In-Play Online Gambling Controversy Builds in Australia

Published Monday, February 08, 2016 -
In-Play Online Gambling Controversy Builds in Australia

Australia is going through what some could refer to as a revolution in the gambling industry with the review of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act. Former New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell has delivered his findings and recommendations to the Australian government but the public has yet to have a look at the results. The 2001 act restricts in-play wagering to over the phone or in person at betting shops but the online gambling operator from the U.K. William Hill has developed an application that allows punters to use a mobile devise to wager while games are in play.

Australian media source The Australian revealed recently that an informal coalition made up of the racing industry, pubs and clubs and major industry players, are forming a “grassroots lobbying campaign” to prompt members of the parliament to protect local operators “from losses that would flow as a result” of the in-play wagering legalization in Australia.

The Australian said an estimated 4,000 TAB outlet operators could be visiting parliamentary members’ offices “to pressure them to retain in-play restrictions to protect jobs.”A source added,  “This approach will be replicated with tens of thousands of racing-industry participants potentially directly lobbying their local MPs against any changes.”

It was revealed also that William Hill has hired a high profile lobbying firm to fight for in play betting and Sportsbet has created its own coalition aligned team, led by John Howard’s former chief of staff.

Racing Australia CEO Peter McGauran has said the group feels, “so strongly about the threat that in-play betting poses to the integrity that we believe that the loophole in the Interactive Gambling Act that allows in-play betting on races should be closed.”

Another article in the Daily Telegraph quoted Alan Tudge, Assistant Minister for Social Services, commented that he believes legal in-play wagering would exacerbate the match-fixing controversies that have stained the reputation of the recent Australian Open tennis tournament.




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