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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has imposed a A$13,320 infringement notice on Entain for accepting illegal online in-play bets.

The ACMA discovered the operator accepted 78 online in-play bets on the final day of the Bangkok LIV Golf tournament in October 2022.

Live in-play sports betting is officially banned in Australia, along with online casino.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said online in-play betting laws are 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.

Entain reported to the ACMA that the breaches occurred due to its parent company inputting the incorrect start time for the event into their systems.

As a result, 59 bets were accepted via the operator’s Ladbrokes brand and 19 via the Neds brand after the event had commenced.

Alerted by a customer

All bets were voided when the error was brought to Entain’s attention by a customer, three hours after play had started.

“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 that online in-play bets are not made available or accepted,” she added.

In addition to paying the infringement notice, Entain has informed the ACMA that it has reviewed and updated its in-play compliance policy to prevent similar errors from happening again.

This is the first infringement notice the ACMA has issued for a breach of in-play betting rules.

Last year, the ACMA investigated Flutter-owned Sportsbet for a suspected breach of in-play betting rules.

However, it later cleared the company of any wrongdoing.

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