Ladbrokes Pulls Australia Live Play

Ladbrokes accused the Australian government of favoring incumbents Tabcorp and Tatts Group in its decision to ban “click to call” betting on live sports. UK-based Ladbrokes said as a result it will pull its Live Play product from the country by the end of June.

UK-based bookmaker Ladbrokes said it will pull its Live Play product from Australia by the end of June, due to the federal government’s ban on “click to call” systems for live sports. Ladbrokes officials said the company’s decision resulted from the government’s support of incumbents Tabcorp and Tatts Group. In the future, bettors will have to make a phone call to bet on live sports.

Chief Executive Dean Shannon of Ladbrokes Australia said the government “really just made their decision on who lobbied the hardest and the loudest that being Tatts and Tabcorp. If you look at clients who are betting on sports around the world, they’re allowed to bet in-play. And I think in this day and age with people living through their mobiles and online, it makes a lot of sense for people to be able to still bet using the devices they use for everything else.”

Following the announcement of the new federal rule, John McBride, chairman of the Northern Territory Racing Commission, wrote, “Taking immediate action on this matter may head off future action by the federal government, which may ultimately result in it taking control of regulation of the online wagering industry.”