The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking legal action against Sportbet for allowing gambling via the banned in-play betting. Sportsbet is an Australian flagship of the Ireland-based betting powerhouse, Paddy Power Betfair plc. Besides Sportsbet being a legal Australian gambling firm, they have released a mobile gambling app that endorses the illegal in-play betting.
In-play is a form of betting where a gambler places a bet during the course of the sporting activity. In the National Rugby League, the gamblers would place their bets by predicting who will score the next try, while in football they would predict the next goal.
In-play betting is currently not allowed in the Australian markets after the topic was reviewed together with the outdated Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA). Although some parts of the IGA have been allowed, like the offering of real-money online interactive gambling services to Australian citizens, the in-play is banned under the current law.
The law only permits bets to be placed via a telephone and not on mobile devices.
ACMA Attacks the gambling houses for the second time
The ACMA is taking the legal route against this form of gambling for the second time after their failed attempt in 2015. Last year the communications authority tried to persecute another United Kingdom based sport betting company, William Hill for in-play bets. At the time, the in-play had not been reviewed and the case against the UK gambling giants had to be dropped due to lack of stronghold on the legislation.
After the case against William Hill was dropped, gambling companies still continued with the in-play until it was reviewed and later banned this year. The offshore firms went on with their business but after it was announced that in-play is no longer permitted on the Aussie markets, some companies opted for the click-to-call. The click-to-call allows the customers to place bets through their computer microphones immediately at the click of a mouse.
Sportsbet went on to launch the mobile app, despite the ruling against online bets. The ACMA is hoping that by taking the legal route, Sportsbet will finally give in and drop the in-play service.