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Fiona Simmons April 5, 2023 2 min read
Inquiry Shows Australian Sportsbooks Might Be Restricting Lucky Players
Some sports betting companies admitted to restricting the activity of certain lucky customers in certain cases
Australia has slammed some of its biggest sportsbooks over their alleged tendency to restrict winning players’ activity. Amid an ongoing inquiry into the impacts of online gambling, some sportsbooks admitted to limiting transactions and deposits in certain cases.
The inquiry was launched last year as Australia seeks to better understand iGaming and how it affects problem gamblers. The inquiry’s main goal is to determine whether the current regulations are sufficient to protect Australian players from harm.
Sportsbet Restricts Players Who Have an Advantage
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Barni Evans, the chief executive officer of Sportsbet, addressed the matter in a tense discussion with committee chair Peta Murphy.
Evans listed a few reasons why Sportsbet may ban a customer or set limits to their transactions. For example, the sportsbook will always intervene if it determines that a player is betting on behalf of other individuals. In addition, customers who are using “privileged information” to gain an edge will also be subjected to interventions.
Evans added that customers on a cooling period between setting deposit limits will not be allowed to make transactions. If such people are betting into highly illiquid volatile markets, Sportsbet will reduce the stake they can make. Finally, if a customer exhibits signs of gambling harm, Sportsbet will once again intervene.
Murphy then asked directly whether Sportsbet would limit players who are winning consistently. Evans admitted that while Sportsbet is not opposed to “mathematically gifted customers,” it seeks to look after the majority of its customers and will restrict players who are using privileged information.
Evans, however, claimed that Sportsbet would never limit the activity of players who are not using privileged information.
Entain Sometimes Imposes Restrictions on Some Customers
The inquiry also questioned Steven Lang, Entain’s director of regulatory strategy and safer gambling. He said that when customers are betting on an Australian racing event, his company cannot apply any restrictions. However, when it comes to other events, Entain may impose some restrictions “on a small number of customers.”
Lang confirmed that this does happen from time to time.
Despite what Evans claimed, Nick Minchin, chair of Responsible Wagering Australia, said it still seems that some customers have been blocked simply because they were winning too often. Even if this is the case, he added that this does not seem to be a standard practice that has been adopted by all companies.