he feature uses computer’s microphone to place live bets, which gets around the hassle of making a phone call and speaking to an operator. The feature is so fast to use that the Australian Communications and Media Authority referred William Hill to the Australian Federal Police for creating betting loophole which effectively enables punters to bet live on sports online.
William Hill and bet365 started offering this feature earlier in 2015. Ladbrokes withdrew its in-play betting feature in July after receiving complaints but they may now be tempted to offer the feature again too. The ruling may also tempt other Australian-licensed bookmakers to follow suit.
The problem lies in the outdated and ambiguous wording of the Interactive Gambling Act. A review of the Act is underway led by former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. The final recommendations are due to be submitted to new Social Services Minister by December 18.
The Australian Wagering Council, whose members include William Hill and Bet365, is in favour of online in-play betting. It argues that making the practice legal would enable Australian operators to better compete with the more than 2,300 offshore operators who offer in-play wagering to Australian punters. The fact that Australian bookmakers haven’t been able to offer this feature is a major reason why Australian punters opt to register with overseas services.