Monday, July 18, 2011 : According to reports in the Australian media, the Irish-owned betting internet betting exchange Betdaq has had to cease operating in Australia following allegations that its activities in racing and sports were illegal.
The Australian newspaper claims that Betdaq was operating offshore on Australian racing and various sports, including the AFL and NRL, without appropriate licensing and in contravention of state and federal legalization.
A Betdaq spokesman told the newspaper: "The betting services on Australian races and sports has been stopped. A legal problem has developed. It should be sorted out soon but until further notice we will not be operating on Australian sport."
The spokesman declined to state specifically what legalities had forced it to close down its Australian operations.
Commenting to The Australian, federal Minister for Sport Mark Arbib said: "Betting sites operating offshore without regulation are a potential threat to the integrity of Australian sport. Online gambling has been referred to Minister Conroy's review of the Interactive Gambling Act."
The Australian's report alleged that on Wednesday Betdaq was operating on race meetings in Victoria (Sandown), NSW (Warwick Farm) and Queensland (Eagle Farm). It was also setting markets for the major football codes and promoting online casino and poker gambling.
It is expected other overseas betting agencies will attempt to bet on Australian races and sport too after Sky Racing completed a deal last week for Australian races to be broadcast live on At The Races, the major thoroughbred racing channel in the UK.
Daily fines of $60,000 can be imposed on unlicensed agency bets on race fields, the newspaper reports, noting that Betdaq also offers Australians the opportunity to gamble on casino games and poker online, which it claims is a serious breach of the federal Interactive Gambling Act.