Unibet join Aussie online in-play party; Emu Casino domain ownership fraud?

unibet-australia-online-in-play-sports-bettingOnline betting operator Unibet’s Australian division has become the latest to launch a law-flaunting in-play sports betting product.

The Australian website of the Malta-based Unibet recently trumpeted the fact that punters can now take advantage of its “NEW LIVE BETTING!” offering, which is currently available for Chrome and Firefox browsers but the site promises the function will be “arriving soon on the Unibet App.”

Unibet’s voice-activated live-betting system mimics the smartphone apps launched by bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Sportsbet, despite lingering questions over the legality of such systems under Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA), which allows remote in-play wagering only via the telephone.

The Australian government is sitting on a report detailing its review of the IGA, which includes whether or not the government should relax the online in-play prohibition. But Australia is expected to face a federal election later this year and the government is reportedly not keen on appearing to be expanding gambling options given that polls have shown it’s a vote-loser.

Meanwhile, Emu Group Ltd, a Malta-registered, Curacao-licensed, Australian-facing online casino brand, has been accused of improperly identifying the owner of its Aussie website domain.

According to research conducted by The New Daily, the Emucasino.com.au domain is registered to Jeff Muller, a Gold Coast hairdresser. Contacted by The New Daily, Muller claimed to have never heard of the website and disavowed any connection to Emu Group.

Muller said he’d hired a solicitor to figure out how to get his name expunged from the registry. Australia’s domain administrative body auDA has the authority to shut down websites if it determines that the sites were fraudulently registered.

The Emu Group websites proudly claim to have been “created by Australian’s [sic] for Australians across the globe.” The Group’s official Facebook page lists 10k subscribers from Australia and The New Daily reported that the EmuCasino site lists phone numbers for customer service centers in Sydney and Auckland.

This is the second time in a week that The New Daily has put international online casino operators in its sites. On Thursday, the site had a go at Australia Post’s connections to payment processing for international online casino sites. Australia’s IGA allows for online sports betting but online casino and poker sites are prohibited.