The Australian Financial Review (AFR), reports that the sports wagering giant Entain has paid the $13,320 fine for accepting illegal bets during the LIV golf tournament. The fine for the violation of the Australian gambling law was imposed by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
78 Illegal Bets Accepted:
While the LIV golf tournament was live, Entain’s online sports betting verticals Ladbroke and Neds illegally accepted 78 online bets. As AFR reports, they thus violated the ”in-play” wagering rule prohibiting real-time wager placements when the sports event is live. Entain, the parent company of the two wagering operations, has paid $13,320 for the infringement, which is the maximum fine for in-play bets as prescribed by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The penalty imposed by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on the $16 billion UK-listed sports betting giant was reportedly the first notice issued for a breach of the “in-play” betting rule. But the fine also represents a continuation of a series of regulatory actions to involve Entain operations. The operator is currently expecting the outcome of the Australian anti-money laundering body’s investigation that may incur a $22 million penalty per infringement, as well as multiple regulatory actions.
Entain has already paid a $ 29 million fine to UK Gambling Commission for similar violations, according to the source. But in October 2022, Entain’s subsidiaries Ladbrokes and Neds accepted 78 online bets on the final day of the Bangkok LIV Golf tournament. As ACMA reportedly claims, these bets were placed during the game and represented in-play bets subject to legal sanctions.
Entain reverted to ACMA explaining that the company had mistakenly entered a discrepant start time of the final event into the wagering systems. It reportedly resulted in 59 wagers accepted through Ladbrokes and 19 through Neds’ services after the start of the event. According to the source, Entain realized the mistake three hours after the start of the game following a suggestion from a customer.
Robust Systems Required:
ACMA reportedly said that all bets were effectively voided. “Online in-play betting increases the risk for those people experiencing gambling harm as it provides fast outcomes and allows for a higher frequency of bets,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin reportedly said, and added that she was disappointed that a highly experienced operator like Entain did not have internal procedures in place to either prevent or discover the error.
AFR reports that O’Loughlin also 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.”