The media and communications watchdog for Australia has penalized the local branch of global online casino and sports betting behemoth Entain after the enterprise was found to have accepted illegal wagers on an LIV Golf event.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed that it has ordered Entain Proprietary Limited to pay an ‘infringement notice’ of $13,320, which is the maximum allowed under law, for breaching the tenets of the nation’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001.
The ACMA explained this fine was assessed after Entain Proprietary Limited’s locally-focused Ladbrokes and Neds-branded services were adjudged to have illicitly accepted 78 online in-play bets concerning the final day of the Bangkok LIV Golf tournament in October of 2022.
Nerida O’Loughlin leads the ACMA and she detailed that this is the first time her organization has issued a fine in relation to a breach of Australia’s in-play betting rules, which have been put 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,” O’Loughlin said.
For its part, Entain Proprietary Limited admitted that the breaches occurred after its parent inputted the incorrect start time for the event into its systems, which meant that punters were able to place wagers after the action had kicked off. The operator additionally disclosed that this led to its Ladbrokes-branded service processing 59 associated in-play bets with its Neds-stamped compatriot having accepted 19 such flutters.
The ACMA divulged that Entain Proprietary Limited only became aware of the error via a customer alert some three hours after the day’s play had started and subsequently voided all of the offending wagers. The regulator stated that the operator has moreover fulfilled an accompanying request for it to review and update its in-play compliance policy in order to ensure such errors do not occur again.
“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,” O’Loughlin said. “The ACMA made it clear to the industry last year that they must have robust systems in place to ensure online in-play bets are not made available or accepted.”