The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has accused major gambling operators Ladbrokes, Neds, bet365, and Sportsbet of violating interactive gambling rules. The operators allegedly used Fast/Quick Codes to facilitate in-play sports betting, which is prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The Act stipulates that in-play betting on sports matches is not legal, with the exception of bets placed via the phone, provided all relevant information is disclosed.
However, the operators’ use of Fast/Quick Codes did not comply with these regulations, as customers were able to access the codes through the website or an app, rather than via phone as required. This allowed players to place bets on in-play events in violation of the law. The ACMA conducted an investigation and found that the operators were not in compliance. As a result, the necessary measures were taken to ensure that the operators modified their processes to adhere to the interactive gambling rules that were previously breached.
As part of these measures, the operators will now generate Fast/Quick Codes prior to events, ensuring that the codes are completely random and that all players have access to the same circumstances when placing their bets. Despite the breaches, the ACMA did not impose any punishment on the operators, as they had taken steps to comply with the regulations and protect customers.
However, this is not the first time that Ladbrokes has been found to be in violation of ACMA guidelines. In July of the same year, the company had breached newly established guidelines related to advertising that appealed to minors, resulting in the banning of several ads from further distribution.
Overall, the operators have made changes to their processes to comply with the regulations, and the ACMA has chosen not to penalize them further at this time.