Ladbrokes pulls online live betting product in Australia
Ladbrokes has withdrawn its online live sports betting product in Australia after a government ban on the service was extended in the country.
The 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) states that while bets on live games can be taken at retail outlets or over the phone, operators cannot offer this service via the internet.
Ladbrokes, as well as rivals Bet365 and William Hill, are among the companies to have argued against this regulation, claiming the distinction between online and telephone communications is now archaic and not in line with modern practice.
However, the Australian government is set to introduce new laws to strengthen its ban on such products, with the Northern Territory the latest jurisdiction to order bookmakers to stop offering this type of service.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reports that the government has also spoken to local authorities in Norfolk Island, where Ladbrokes is based, in an effort to enforce the ban in the region.
In response, Ladbrokes said it will pull its product as a “show of good faith” by the end of the month, with customers that wish to bet on a live game having to do so by a phone call.
UK-headquartered Ladbrokes is one of five overseas betting operators that offered the in-play ‘click to call’-type service, which enables Australian punters to bet via the internet via a smartphone application once a sporting contest has begun.
Last week, the Northern Territory Racing Commission gave notice to William Hill, Sportsbet, Unibet and Bet365 to stop offering in-play betting to ‘head off’ future action.
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