Shortly before Christmas, Sportsbet announced the launch of its new Bet Live feature, which allows punters to place in-play wagers via the Sportsbet Mobile App. The product allows punters to place in-play wagers without the need to speak to a live betting agent on the phone.
Sportsbet joins a growing list of Aussie-licensed operators to offer a workaround to the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA), which limits live betting to in-person transactions at retail betting outlets or via telephone. To date, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Bet365 have introduced similar apps.
Unlike those other operators, Sportsbet’s product actually involves a phone call over a public switched telephone network, which the company claims makes the app legally compliant. Punters select their wager via the app, click ‘call’ and then enter their stake via their phone’s keypad when prompted. Their wagering details can then be reviewed, after which the punter confirms the bet by pressing ‘1’.
The apps have been both highly controversial and hugely popular with punters but the Australian Federal Police declared in October that they weren’t interested in investigating the matter. That said, in-play is expected to be one of the issues addressed in the current review of the IGA. Both the review and the government’s response will be released simultaneously, possibly by the end of January.
TOPBETTA SWITCHES ON EON SPORTS RADIO
Meanwhile, Australian betting operator TopBetta Holdings has inked a deal to supply sports, race and fantasy betting services to new digital radio platform EON Sports Radio. EON, led by music industry veteran Glenn Wheatley, has already inked the exclusive Australian audio rights to the English Premier League.
As part of the deal, TopBetta’s Saturday morning radio program The Punters Show will begin airing this weekend on EON. TopBetta’s exclusive deal ensures that no other Aussie betting operator can operate on the EON platform for the next 12 months.
Just before Christmas, TopBetta was said to be negotiating fantasy sports deals with several Aussie media outlets, including Seven West Media and News Corp. Last week, TopBetta announced it had inked a deal to monetize the database of digital horseracing media site G1X with first to market fantasy wagering products.