Australian Gambling – Tabcorp is eyeing off an ambitious plan to breathe life into the ailing retail wagering section. The plan will see them install a WiFi network in pubs and clubs across NSW and Victoria which will allow patrons to bet on live sporting events on their smartphones.

Digital live betting is banned in Australia – meaning you have to make a phone call to bet on an event that is already underway. But under the proposed plan patrons would be able to bet on live events while in the venue because they would be covered by their gambling licence.

Tabcorp Chief David Attenborough said the company was looking at developing this type of service. “It is something that obviously we’re working on,” he said.

“We would love to develop that further … [That is] certainly the kind of thing the venues would love to see in place, because it is logical that if someone is definitely in the venue … they are essentially betting under the venue’s licence.”

So far the company says the digital roll out will mainly be focussed on non-betting services, but various newspapers are reporting that the move is mainly about dodging the tough laws surrounding live betting.

While the plan is yet to be green lighted by the various state governments, if it is it would open the door for Tatts Group to do something similar at its venues. It would also give the retail betting shops a boost in their fight against online bookmakers like Sportsbet and Sportingbet.