Ladbrokes Australia re-opens in-play betting

By Edward Obeng
Operator Ladbrokes has re-launched its in-play betting feature LivePlay in Australia following the product's withdrawal in July.

Ladbrokes Australia now joins William Hill and Bet365 in allowing Aussie punters to bet in-running during live sporting events.

Ladbrokes had come under scrutiny in recent months, with the Australian Communication Agency (ACMA) announcing that it was to investigate the firm's in-play services.

The ACMA had claimed that Ladbrokes' in-play offering breached the Internet Gambling Act 2001, as the product allowed in-play bets to be placed online as long as the punter’s microphone on their computer is switched on.

The Act does not ban punters from placing wagers over the phone during live events.

LivePlay is now back on the market after fellow bookmaker William Hill challenged the probe in October, with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) electing not to investigate the feature following a referral from the ACMA.

Ladbrokes, William Hill and Bet365 argue that the distinction between online and telephone communications is now outdated and not in line with current practice.

Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell is expected to discuss live betting when he hands down his review into internet gambling this week.

In a submission to the review, the Institute of Public Affairs researchers Chris Berg and Simon Breheny said: “Live betting offers consumers more choice, greater participation in spectator sport and the opportunity to manage betting risk more responsibility.

“Policymakers cannot assume that imposing their scepticism of the benefits of gambling is a reflection of the actual preferences of consumers."
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