Recommendation 25: Because of the greater harm associated with ‘micro-betting’ from a problem gambling perspective, ‘micro-betting’ should be prohibited irrespective of the electronic medium (that is, telephone, internet, etc.) by which the bets are placed.
You'd think this would be based on some research, or merit, wouldn't you?
Fear trumps evidence, again
In the same section of the report,
- Racing and Wagering Western Australia noted that: ‘in-the-run micro-betting’ ... would be akin to games of chance for the majority of the target audience and expose greater risks of problem gambling ...
- Betfair noted: According to a report conducted by the UK Gambling Commission in 2009, there is no evidence that online in-play betting (including ‘micro-betting’ after an event has commenced) poses a “specific, identifiable risk to problem gambling as opposed to other forms of betting or online gambling.
It's no wonder I got frustrated when I was in this industry.
The scary claim is wrong. Plain wrong.
After the release of the report, various people have come out to have their say, including "independent gambling researcher, Sally Gainsbury" on the ABC. She said:
"If you are looking at something that's like ball-by-ball betting on outcomes that are popping up within a game, this is a form of gambling where gamblers could chase their losses, could spend more than they intended, and it really could be an excessive form of gambling,"
Sorry Sally, but you are just guessing.
|A screen shot of our micro-betting - live, real, online|
Our company provided microbetting services to Ladbrokes, the UK's largest betting company. And the results were clear. These microbets were just novelty bets. The punters placed small wagers. They didn't increase their bets, and everyone just treated it as a bit of fun.
Our business made a very small profit - much less than we had expected - because the bets were small, and the punters' losses were very controlled.
Eventually, Ladbrokes replaced our service with an in-house product, and because we couldn't offer our service to an Australian operator, we went out of business.
You can lose more, faster, with the TAB!
What really makes me shake my head about all of this is that the betting we were offering is no faster than what is available right now with the TAB in any of the States. Any day, you can place a bet every couple of minutes on a race. On a Saturday, that would be at least every minute.
The microbet that we were offering is only available every 4 minutes or so - the average time it takes to play a game of tennis. So, it's actually less likely to be a form of betting where punters will chase their losses than our beloved horse racing.
I have no qualms about being out of this business, but I do have concerns that wild claims will be believed over solid evidence.
We should be able to rely on our public servants to make considered decisions based on fact and not fear-mongering.
Let me know what you think