Home Gambling Industry Tabcorp under fire over illegal sports bets

Tabcorp under fire over illegal sports bets

17 Nov 2021
2 min. read


Tabcorp, the betting and racing company, has been issued a warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). It accepted 37 illegal in-play online bets on a college basketball match in the US.

Under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, online in-play betting (betting on sporting events after they have begun) is banned in Australia. Tabcorp replied that the bets were placed after Tabcorp failed to close betting on time because of incorrect match information from third-party providers. This was followed by a technical error. Tabcorp paid winning bets out and reimbursed losing bets after realizing the error.

Fiona Cameron, an Authority member, stated that this is the first time that the ACMA has taken legal action against an operator in violation of the online in-play betting rules.

Cameron stated that "We know that in-play betting, such as bets on the next point in a tennis match or the next ball in cricket, can pose a very high risk to problem gamblers."

"These rules have been in place for many years and Tabcorp has had more than enough time to put systems in place to ensure that in-play betting is not offered on local or international sports," she added.

Cameron explained that the decision to issue a formal notice took into consideration Tabcorp's actions in dealing with illegal bets, and its commitment to improving its systems and processes. Cameron also suggested alternative enforcement options, including possible penalties under an infringement notification and an application by ACMA to the Federal Court for the imposition or suspension of a civil penalty.

She asserted that the ACMA considered that Tabcorp's payment of winning bets was inappropriate and that all illegal betting should have been canceled so that neither bettors nor operators benefit from the prohibited activity.

Cameron warned that the industry is being notified that it must have strong systems in place to stop in-play betting and that the ACMA may investigate any evidence that this important consumer safeguard has been violated.

Image source: Tabcorp image

17 Nov 2021
2 min. read