Australian users of bet365 will be disappointed to learn that live in-play betting is now only available over the phone. Live online betting is no longer provided to Australians as part of the bookmaker’s plan to obtain a sports book license in Australia. Earlier in 2011 bet365 ceased its provision of online casino, poker room and bingo services to Australians.
bet365 has been forced to make these changes to comply with the Australian Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA), which makes it an offence to offer or advertise real money online interactive gambling services to Australian residents. The term ‘interactive’ includes live sports betting. This law technically applies to all online operators, regardless of whether they are owned and/or licensed in Australia. Interestingly, adherence to the IGA is the responsibility of the gambling operators and not individual Australians. The average Australian citizen cannot be punished for betting live online. Most offshore betting providers either ignore, or are unaware of the IGA, and continue to offer live betting to Australian residents. As things stand, Australians are free to participate in live betting offered by international agencies, because any infringements would entail penalties for the betting operator and not the punter.
This move by bet365 is a shame for Australian punters because their online in-play betting interface is the best we’ve seen. A list of other bookmakers that offer live online betting and Australian dollar accounts can be viewed in the betting agencies section.