Sportsbet Cleared of Breaching In-Play Betting Ban

Ben H / 26 December 2022

Australia’s largest bookmaker, Sportsbet, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The betting operator was in ACMA’s focus because of concerns that it may have breached Australia’s live wagering restrictions.

However, the media and communications watchdog found that the Flutter-owned bookie did not engage in actions that contravened Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) when it allowed bettors to place (in-play) wagers during the Brownlow Medal count.

The Brownlow Medal is the most prestigious award in the Australian Football League (AFL) and is given to the “best and fairest” player in the league. Carlton captain Patrick Cripps won the award in 2022.

The Medal Presentation Did Not Qualify as a Live Sports Event

Sportsbet allowed customers to wager on who would win the award during the live broadcast of the medal count that took place on 18 September. ACMA wasn’t sure if betting on the event was or wasn’t in-play wagering, so it flagged the case and decided to investigate the matter.

The agency thought Sportsbet might have breached three subsections of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 – 15(2A), 61DA(1A) and 61DA(3). The first subsection bans sportsbooks from offering live betting services in Australia, while the other two deal with the advertising of online gambling products.

After examining the markets Sportsbet offered, the ACMA determined that Sportsbet didn’t breach the live wagering restrictions. It concluded that the TV broadcast of the medal presentation wasn’t a sports event, so betting on it was perfectly alright.

The watchdog cleared Sportsbet of any wrongdoing, as the market it offered to customers wasn’t an “in-play betting service under the IGA.” ACMA cleared Sportsbet of contravening advertising bans during live broadcasts too.

The agency also examined betting activity on the Norm Smith Medal (AFL) and the Clive Churchill Medal (NRL). The conclusion was the same. Like the Brownlow Medal, the ACMA ruled that wagering on the outcomes of these markets couldn’t be considered in-play betting, as the awards were not sporting events.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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