Ladbrokes withdraws its online in-play services in Australia following government crackdown

By Priscillia Mudiaki
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has pulled its in-play betting products in Australia, after the federal government called for the service to be dropped as it breaches the law.

While bets during live games can be taken over the phone or at retail outlets, the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) prevents operators from offering online in-play gaming products. In a response to a review of the law, in late April the Australian federal government had announced plans to strengthen the ban on online in-play services.

International operators in Australia have come under fire over the last few months as they have flouted the federal government clampdown over their online gaming products. Operators including William Hill, Bet 365 and Unibet have continued to publicly promote their in-play ‘click to call’-type service, which allows punter to make their bets through a voice message made online.

Ladbrokes is the first overseas betting agency to confirm it will withdraw its in-play betting services. However the operator has still not been shy about taking a shot at rivals Tabcorp and Tatts Group. The ban on in-play is seen as a big advantage for the two incumbent betting companies in Australia.

"They really just made their decision on who lobbied the hardest and the loudest that being Tatts and Tabcorp," commented Ladbrokes' Australian Chief Executive Dean Shannon.

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