The Australian Federal Police has been asked to investigate William Hill and Ladbrokes over allegations of breaches of local gambling laws, first revealed in The Australian.
The two companies would face multi-million-dollar fines if the AFP finds out they have breached the ban on live betting.
As revealed by The Australian last month, the two firms have begun taking bets via the internet if the customer keeps their computer’s microphone on to “satisfy” the requirement that live bets during sporting events be made by telephone only.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received several complaints about the tactic and The Australian understands the regulator has referred it to federal police. The two betting companies — which entered the Australian market in 2013 and have aggressively brokered a range of sponsorships with sporting clubs — have been the only operators in Australia to circumvent the ban, The Australian reported.
Betting on sporting events during play is seen as a vastly lucrative new frontier for sports betting in Australia. If punters were freed from having to place a phone call, betting turnover on live football, cricket, golf and other sports could be expected to soar.
Under the current regulations, breaches of the act can incur fines of up to $1.7 million a day, with jail terms a possibility for directors, employees and suppliers.
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