Entain Pty Ltd (Entain) has been penalised for online in-play betting after it was found that two of its services had accepted illegal bets on a LIV golf tournament.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the Ladbrokes and Neds services accepted 78 online in-play bets on the final day of the Bangkok LIV Golf tournament in October 2022.
As a result, Entain has paid an infringement notice of $13,320, the maximum amount the ACMA could set for this breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. This is the first infringement notice that the ACMA has issued in relation to a breach of the in-play betting rules.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said online in-play betting laws are in place to protect vulnerable people.
“Online in-play betting increases the risk for those people experiencing gambling harm as it provides fast outcomes and allows for higher frequency of bets,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
Entain reported to the ACMA that the breaches occurred due to its parent company inputting the incorrect start time for the event to their systems. As a result, 59 bets were accepted via the Ladbrokes service and 19 via the Neds service after the event had commenced. All bets were effectively voided.
Entain only became aware of the error when alerted by a customer some three hours after the day’s play had started.
“Entain is a highly experienced wagering operator and it is disappointing it did not have internal procedures in place to prevent or detect the error,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“The ACMA made it clear to the industry last year that they must have robust systems in place to ensure that online in-play bets are not made available or accepted.”
As well as paying the $13,320 infringement notice, Entain has also advised the ACMA that it has reviewed and updated its in-play compliance policy to ensure such errors do not occur again.