According to Cormac Barry, Sportsbet’s chief executive, the fact that a total of $591 million has been bet on cricket’s Big Bash League indicates that laws designed to control gambling do very little when it comes to sports betting. He says that they actually achieve an opposite effect of what they were intended to do, as they often end up putting licensed local companies at a disadvantage, as offshore bookmakers aren’t subject to these restrictions, which could put sports at risk of corruption.
Cricket is a popular sport among gamblers, as figures released by Betfair, one of the world’s leading betting exchanges, show that both local and international customers have bet an average total of $28 million for each match this summer. In comparison, only $6 million was bet by Betfair customers for the 2013 Melbourne Cup. This shows that Australia’s Big Bash League receives far more betting action than other sports. Competition among online bookmakers is still and many are offering free bets online in an effort to attract new punters. In fact, it is possible to find offers of free bets Australia such as this site http://www.bookiesfreebets.com.au simply by doing a quick search online.
According to Daniel Bevan, spokesman for Betfair, the increased popularity of betting on cricket matches was due to “in play” betting, which lets customers make bets on the game’s outcome even after it has already started.
Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act bans punters from using the Internet to make “in play” bets. However, a loophole exists which lets Australians make the bets by telephone. As Betfair is an international platform that has customers from all over the world, a large amount of “in play” bets actually come from overseas customers.
A spokesman for Sportsbet has reiterated his opinion that the Interactive Gambling Act isn’t capable of controlling betting on Australian sporting events and puts licensed betting operators in Australia at a disadvantage compared to their offshore counterparts. Already, Australian sports betting service are having to compete with numerous bonus offers and promotions giving free bets online to new customers from offshore sportsbooks.
A review of the Act was made in March 2013 and recommendations were issued to get rid of the discrepancy that allows betting on the outcome of the game after it has started by telephone, but bans the same practice when the bet is placed online. However, the recommendation has not yet been acted upon by the government.
In the meantime, Australian gamblers can check out some of the offers of free bets Australia, both from local bookmakers and international ones.