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Entain fined for online “in-play” golf bets

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Entain, the owner of two Australian sportsbook brands, Ladbrokes and Neds, has been fined AU$13,320 ($8,820) for illegally accepting 78 online bets during the LIV golf tournament while the competition was live, in breach of Australian gambling law.

The penalty against the UK-listed company was issued on Friday by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Entain has paid an infringement notice of AU$13,320, the “maximum amount” the ACMA could set for this breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. According to the ACMA, this is the first infringement notice that the entity has issued concerning a violation of the in-play betting rules.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin stressed that 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,” Ms. O’Loughlin said.

According to Entain, the breaches occurred due to its parent company inputting the “incorrect start time” for the event to their systems. As a result, 59 bets were accepted via the Ladbrokes service and 19 via the Neds service after the event had commenced. All bets were effectively voided.

Entain admitted only became aware of the error when alerted by a customer some three hours after the day’s play had started.

Regarding negligence, O’Loughlin laments that “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.”

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