Tabcorp is under new investigation
Gambling is one of the most popular pastime activities on the globe. Not only is this industry a source of entertainment, but also it is a way to get big money. Therefore, there have been lots of people and organisations that want to get money by fighting dirty.
Scandals Connected with Breaching Gambling Laws in Australia
In 2019 and 2020 some scandals burst in Australia. They were connected with violating money laundering laws in the gambling industry.
Thus, some of the main companies connected with gambling in Australia were subject to a formal investigation. They are National Australia Bank, Crown Resorts, Star Entertainment Group, and SkyCity Entertainment Group.
Earlier this year a number of well-known Australian companies were fined for breaching advertising laws related to online betting and gambling.
According to the Betting and Racing Act 1998, gambling service providers shall not provide an advertisement directly to a betting account holder by email, SMS text message, etc. without the account holder’s consent. However, 14 gambling operators breached the law.
Such giants as Ladbrokes, Neds, Sportsbet and Topsport were punished for sending gambling advertisement emails to their account holders after they had withdrawn consent to receive direct marketing. Repeated attempts to unsubscribe were unsuccessful due to the confusing functionality of the unsubscribe option.
Tabcorp Was Charged with Breaking Gambling Laws
The name of one more company has been mentioned in relation to breaching advertising laws. Tabcorp is one of the biggest companies in the gambling market of Australia. It provides Keno, lotteries, wagering and gaming products and services around the country.
Earlier in November, Liquor and Gaming New South Wales, an agency responsible for the regulation of liquor, wagering, gaming products, etc., issued an A$30,000 penalty. The company was found guilty for violating advertising laws.
In December 2019 some former Tabcorp customers got a gambling ad offering bonus bets on their Instagram accounts.
A New Complaint
And now a new deal appeared. Tabcorp received a formal warning from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). In January 2021, Tabcorp accepted 37 illegal online in-play bets on a US college basketball game. An investigation from ACMA was a result of a complaint.
According to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, it is illegal for gambling providing companies to offer:
- online casinos,
- in-play sports betting,
- sports betting services without a valid Australian licence,
- betting on the outcome of a lottery,
- advertising banned services,
- crediting online sports betting.
It is the first time the ACMA has taken action against a provider that violates such rules. Fiona Cameron, ACMA Authority Member said, “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.”
Ms. Cameron also added that “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 national or international sports.”
Tabcorp answered that they hadn’t been able to close betting in time because of some incorrect match information from a third-party provider.
The operator added that there had been a technical error because of which the online in-play betting options were available to their customers. Tabcorp paid out all winning bets and refunded losing bets.
However, Cameron claimed, “The ACMA considered that the paying out of winning bets by Tabcorp was inappropriate and that all illegal bets should have been voided so that neither operators or punters benefit from prohibited activity.” She believes in-play betting may pose a high risk to bettors who often fail to control their betting habits or are considered compulsive gamblers.
The regulation of in-play betting has been in place for many years, so Tabcorp had enough time to ensure its systems work properly so that it did not offer in-play betting on local or international sports.
The ACMA is going to investigate evidence of any non-compliance with consumer protection measures implemented by Australian gambling operators. Ms. Cameron warned that if any violations of the rules caused by genuine errors are found, the watchdog will take into consideration whether the company decided to pay illegal winning bets or declared them invalid.