In-Play Betting Loophole for TABs
With the ban on Click-To-Call officially coming into effect, many cooperate bookmakers feel that local TABs will be handed an unfair advantage. The draft federal legislation which came into effect today has forced foreign-owned corporate bookmakers to completely remove their click-to-call live betting systems. Meanwhile, online bookmaker Sportsbet has criticized the new legislation saying that it has effectively handed the two listed TAB operators un unfair loophole.
The new legislation will allow locally based TAB operators to take live bets in clubs and pubs through a variety of smartphone and tablet betting apps. Sportsbet chief financial officer Ben Sleep explained that the proposed changes to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill has created a completely illogical loophole for the TAB operators. At the same time, it has forced online operators to remove an in-play betting system that didn’t actually breach any of the gambling laws.
Sleep went on to say that having iPad betting on every pub table in the country is completely inconsistent with the government’s own policy to restrict in-play betting. In response, Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge acknowledged the complaint and said that the on going consultation process was designed to address any errors or unintended consequences as a result of the implementation of the legislation itself.
TABs to Offer Mobile In-Venue Live Betting
In order to fall within the rules of the new legislation, TABs are expected to use geo-blocking technology ensuring online sports bets cannot be placed outside of the local retail outlet, pub or club. From their perspective, betting on an iPad at a pub is still considered retail betting. Any betting that takes place inside a betting venue should be classed as retail betting irrespective of how the bets are actually being placed.
Local TABs, Tatts and Tabcorp pay a hefty licence fee for the right to offer retail betting. The operators have never offered click-to-call facilities arguing that they were unlawful. However, they have always been able to offer live betting facilities via local TAB terminals situated inside the retail venue itself.
It is expected that both Tatts and Tabcorp will push for the right to offer the same type of in-venue betting service for smartphone and tablet mobile platforms. Meanwhile, the removal of online in-play betting is expected to hit corporate bookmakers hard. The loss of revenue is estimated to be around $1.1m revenue every week.