Bookmakers could be dismissed from Australia

By David Cook
The Australian government could ban foreign operators from taking bets from people in Australia, depending on the result of the federal election later this year.

According to The Australian, the Turnbull government would amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 and the Australian Media and Communications Authority (AMCA) would be given additional power to enforce the law.

Additionally, the government is expected to defer its decision on the possibility of legalising in-play online betting until after the election, though the date of the election is not yet known.

Online in-play betting is currently prohibited in Australia under the terms of the Internet Gambling Act 2001, with the exception of horse racing, though in-play bets can be placed via telephone.

Ladbrokes, William Hill and Bet365 all operate in the country and all offer online in-play services other than horse racing by using mobile apps that utilise smartphone voice recognition technology and the technique can also be used for desktop devices.

Voiceover technology in effect makes it so a bet is being placed via a phone call.

The AMCA wrote to the three operators last year, outlining its view that their actions to work around the ban are in fact illegal.

Ladbrokes Australia withdrew its Live Play offering in July but relaunched the product in December.

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