The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned Best Bookies’ Price Pty Ltd of operating an online betting service without the necessary licence.
The online sportsbook service provided by Best Bookies allowed Australian customers to compare betting odds across licensed gambling and betting operators and place wagers with those operators on their behalf. However, the country’s communications and media regulator found that these services have met the definition of a “gambling service” in accordance with the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA).
It is important to note that Best Bookies’ Price Pty Ltd had obtained the relevant state watchdog’s permission, for the time being, it does not hold a gambling licence that is required from companies to offer interactive gambling services under the provisions of the applicable gambling legislation.
That is exactly the reason why the Australian Communications and Media Authority found that the services which are currently offered by the operator were actually provided in violation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. As mentioned above, the online gambling service provided by Best Bookies falls under the competent authorities’ regulatory rights and responsibilities on one hand, and needs a special operating permit in order to target local consumers, on the other hand.
Unlicensed Gambling Operators Unable to Ensure Necessary Key Customer Protection Measures
As a result of the official warning received by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Best Bookies’ Price Pty Ltd has ceased the provision of its services for the time being.
The regulatory body, in its turn, provides extensive information about its investigations and the protocols followed in case a company breaks the rules and is found in violation of federal, state, or territory laws. It also states that the operators that break the rules may face criminal charges and/or civil penalties. The fines for corporations that breach the rules can reach AU$11,737,500 per day.
For the time being, licensing arrangements facilitate the provision of key measures aimed at protecting consumers under both the federal gambling legislation represented by the Interactive Gambling Act and the relevant State and Territory laws.
Apart from issuing an official warning to Best Bookies, the communications and media regulator of Australia strongly encouraged local people who are willing to place online wagers to do so only through licensed and reputable gambling platforms. As the ACMA noted, this is the only way for a consumer to be sure they will be able to benefit from the consumer protection regime. A list of licensed betting operators is published on the regulatory body’s website.
Furthermore, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has encouraged gambling companies, which hold a valid operating permit, to take into careful consideration any arrangements they have or wish to bring into effect to use the services of any third-party provider to make sure that using those services will comply with the gambling legislation that applies and also will not have any negative effect on their ability to meet their legal obligations.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.