Wagering language and terminology demystified.

Definitions and key terms

Wagering is another way of saying ‘betting’ with ‘online’ referring to the wagering being conducted on the internet or via an app. Wagering usually refers to betting on sports and racing. The term ‘gambling’ is more commonly referred to playing the pokies or casino games.

Free betting credits offered as an inducement via a specific provider. Often bonus bets are required to be ‘played through’ before they can be withdrawn; in other words the bettor must make additional bets in order to take advantage of the financial incentive. Bonus bets however, cannot be offered in conjunction with opening a new account with a licensed wagering operator.

Persons or organisations who take bets, calculate odds and pay out winnings. Bookmakers are licensed in each jurisdiction across Australia. Traditionally, bookmakers were referred to those individuals operating at event venues, but now corporate bookmakers operate online which includes RWA members.

Credit betting is not permitted with Australia’s licensed sportsbooks and refers to the provision of a line of credit by a betting operator to allow a customer to place bets without using deposited funds and to reconcile the account at a later date.

A limit on the amount of money that can be deposited by the customer into a single betting account over a defined period of time. At present, a number of online wagering operators allow customers to set deposit limits, typically when their account is registered. The services typically limit the amount that may be deposited during a day (24 hours), week (7 days) or month (30 days).

Betting limits refer to limits on the size of bets. Limits may refer to maximum betting limits where a cap is placed on bet size, typically as a harm minimisation measure and/or as a risk management measure for bookmakers, or minimum limits that refer to a minimum bet size that bookmakers must accept.

Refers to betting markets that allow bets to be placed after the commencement of an event such as a sporting match or racing event. Typically, the prices available to bettors may change as the match or event progresses. In Australia, in-play betting is only permitted while physically on site (where the sporting event or race is being held) or over the telephone.

Also known as ‘ball-by-ball’ are a specific category of ‘in-play’ style gambling that involves the placement of bets having the following characteristics and circumstances 1) the placing, making, receiving or the acceptance of bets on particular events occurs during a session of a match or game 2) the betting opportunity is repetitive and of a high frequency (for example, on a per ball basis in a game of cricket) 3) the bet is placed on one of a limited number of outcomes, although the number of possible outcomes may be more than two (for example whether the next serve will be a fault) 4) the time between placing a bet and knowing the outcome is very short (usually less than five minutes, with the exception of interruptions).

Where the bettor is able to wager that something may or may not happen in the course of an event (for example, that an outfield player will handle the ball in a soccer game).

Also commonly known as a proposition (or prop) bet, novelty bet or a special bet, typically refers to bet types that do not refer to the final result of an event or match. For instance, betting markets that pay out on the first try scorer or top goal scorer are examples of exotic bets. Some bookmakers offer exotic multiples, which combine one or more single bets and/or parlays. Exotic multiples provide payouts for a low number of winning selections, with the greatest payout achieved if every selection wins. Another example is betting on non-sports/racing events, e.g., when the next royal child will be born or who will win a reality TV contest.

A game where participants assemble imaginary or virtual teams of real players of a professional sport. These teams compete based on the statistical performance of those players in actual games. Traditional fantasy sports are contested across a long time period (typically a season) across a number of formats. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are contested across a shorter period (typically a day or a week).

Otherwise known as ‘Tote betting’ refers to a bet type where the odds quoted at the time of the bet are indicative and the final payout is determined upon completion of the event based on the pool of money wagered on the event. This is in contrast to fixed odds betting where the odds agreed to at the time of the bet are used to determine the final payout.

Refers to bets placed on sporting or racing events where the eventual payout is determined at the time of the bet. This is in contrast to pari-mutuel betting where the payout is based on the final pool of money staked.

Refers to a bet type where the bettor selects the result of a sporting event. Specifically this refers to which team or participant will win (or in some cases whether the event will end in a draw).

Refers to wagering markets (typically associated with sports betting) where the bettor is required to select a result allowing for one team/participant to have a head start (or handicap). Typically, handicap betting seeks to balance the value bet on each option. Bookmakers in these cases generate revenue based on the margin charged on each bet.

Refers to the provision of illegal gambling services by operators based in overseas jurisdictions to Australian residents (such as via online pokies and casinos). Illegal services can include prohibited services under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (such as interactive gaming or in-play betting) or services prohibited under state and territory laws. Under the laws of each Australian state and territory, the provision of wagering services is permitted only when conducted by an operator licensed by the gambling regulator of an Australian state/territory. Similarly, the totalisator in each Australian state/territory is licensed by the gambling regulator of that Australian state/territory.

Know your customer requirements refer to requirements for businesses to verify the identity of their customers. Online wagering operators in Australia are required to comply with know your customer requirements as part of their anti-money laundering activities.

POCT is a tax levied on punters’ winnings by state and territory governments depending on the geographical location where the transaction occurred. Administered by separate state and territory legislative instruments and levied at different rates across states and territories, POCT creates significant regulatory complexity and compliance costs.

Fees paid by licensed wagering operators in Australia to Australian sporting and racing bodies for bookmakers to access the rights to bet on their respective sports. Typically, under these agreements, product fees paid to sporting bodies are normally based on ‘gross revenue’ and fees paid to racing bodies are based on turnover. For example, if a wagering operator wishes to take bets on the A-League, they must have an approval from Football Federation Australia (FFA). Under the conditions of this approval, the wagering operator must pay a product fee to the FFA and meet certain integrity obligations. In addition, wagering operators in Australia must seek approval from sporting organisations on the types of bets offered to their clients.

Otherwise known as self-banning. this is a voluntary process whereby a person can have themselves excluded from accessing products or services.