Australian Sportsbooks Acknowledge Penalizing Successful Bettors in Government Investigation

Gambling in Australia has recently been under scrutiny due to an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into online betting. It has been revealed that Sportsbet and Entain – and potentially others – will limit the activity of those who win too often.

CEO of Sportsbet, Barni Evans, was questioned during a hearing on online gaming in Australia. He admitted that the sports betting operator sometimes restricts bettors who have a high rate of success.

The inquiry has shifted its focus away from the land-based gaming industry, which has been heavily criticized due to the conduct of operators like Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment.

Under direct questioning, Evans was asked how and why the largest sportsbook in Australia might suspend a customer. He suggested that the company has the ability to detect if a bettor is “acting with information that the rest of the market doesn’t have”. Despite further prompting, Evans was unable to provide further details.

Evans revealed that the company will limit bets for some customers in order to maintain market stability. The acknowledgment was echoed by Entain’s Director of Regulatory Strategy and Safer Gambling, Steven Lang, who admitted that occasionally customers will be excluded.

The debate over the amount and placement of advertising has also been discussed during the inquiry. Tabcorp, the largest gambling company in Australia, has suggested imposing a cap on ads, particularly those created by gaming operators. Entain and other companies, however, believe the system works well as it is.

Andrew Abdo, the head of the National Rugby League, believes that the current system should remain in place, but with some modifications based on data and research. Lang made the point that if Australia wishes to tackle illegal gambling, advertising can be a useful tool in educating customers on legitimate platforms.

The inquiry is scheduled to end this week, with the committee aiming to present its findings within the next two months.