Australian Online 'In Play' Betting Issue Examined

Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014 -
Australian Online 'In Play' Betting Issue Examined

Gambling in Australia brings in a substantial amount of cash to the government and to the operators who have been licensed. A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, points out the disagreement that operators have with the laws in Australia with regard to betting on sporting events.

Cormac Barry, the chief executive officer of Sportsbet said the $591 million wager on cricket’s Big Bash League at rival Betfair shows legislation in place to control online betting, puts local companies at a disadvantage and the integrity of sports at risk.

Financial results from the internet betting company Betfair revealed that local and international gamblers wagered on average $28 million per match during the first 23 matches played during the Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League event. Customers of Betfair in contrast bet just under $6 million on the Melbourne Cup events. The Australian Interactive Gambling Act makes it illegal for gamblers to make online bets on the winner once play has commenced. However, local customers can make these ‘in play’ bets via telephone.

Daniel Bevan a Betfair spokesperson commented that the rise in popularity of betting on the summer league of Twenty20 cricket was being driven by ‘in play’ betting. Betfair is an international platform and a large majority of ‘in play’ bets are coming from its overseas customers, Bevan explained.

Bevan also dismissed the claim that large amounts wagered on Betfair on the Big Bash League games exposed it to the risk of corruption. “We’re giving [Cricket Australia] another weapon for integrity and transparency because they have access to every trade for Australian and international punters,” Bevan continued, “Through onshore regulated operators like Betfair, those of us who play by the rules, we’re delivering a financial return to Cricket Australia.”

Paddy Power which owns Sportsbet had CEO Cormac Barry comment on the situation, Sportsbet offers ‘in play’ betting to local customers via its telephone service but chooses not to take international bets “because Paddy Power only operates in regulated countries”.

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