Australia’s professional sports bodies such as the AFL want the australian government to relax its laws around in-play betting. In-Play betting is betting that takes place once an event has started. Punters are allowed to bet right until the conclusion of a sporting event.
The Australian government is currently conducting a review of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act with a focus on the negative impact of international online gambling sites allowing Aussie Punters to wager. Right now there are 30 online gambling sites in Australia but only around 40% of the country’s $1.6Billion Australian Dollar industry enters the Australian government purse. The rest, including more than 2000 online sites is going offshore to locations outside of Australian jurisdiction for now.
Members of the racing industry, professional sports, wagering groups as well as state and territory governments and the public will be consulted, according to the report. O’Farrell and his team has until Dec. 18 to submit their recommendations to the federal government.
A Coalition of major Professional and Participation Sports, including members such as the Australian Football league, Cricket Australia and the National Rugby League says the IGA have created a blind spot in which match fixers are having the opportunity to fix events. The submission suggests that it would be much easier for these match fixers to be caught if Australian Licensed Operators were doing the checks.
The Coalition says that the Interactive Gambling Act’s “anachronistic” in-play restrictions have created a blind spot in which match-fixers can run wild. If the Aussie government were to legalise in-play betting the aussie operators could offer it. As of now the betting is done on unregulated international sites. The government is losing significant taxes via the wagering on international sites.
The Racing industry for obvious reasons argues the opposite suggesting they could lose $10 million or more a year in profits if in-play wagering were allowed. If we consider the benefits of in-play betting we can see why. The benefits are as follows;
- The in-play bet will allow you to assess what is happening in a horse race before placing your free bet.
- The second clear benefit is in-play betting allows you to trade your position for a better outcome when you are about to lose. This is bad news for the bookmaker and the racing industry.
We think that allowing online in-play betting would in fact only increase the risk for match-fixing damaging an industry that already struggles with reputation. We would site in play betting as a form of betting which increases the number of wagers of any given player. Therefore, the government would strongly have to worry that they would be facilitating more problems among fans due to addiction.
Many Aussie operators like William Hill have navigated around the policy by offering apps that rely on smart phone voice recognition to allow punters in-play betting. The Australian Policy have refused to investigate. No matter what the government decide – the turnstiles have been left wide open for some time now and players are well used to finding ways to bet in play.