Sweeping Changes to Australian Online Gambling LegislationPublished May 1, 2017 by Brett C
Federal ministers in Australia are pushing ahead with plans to reform sports betting and online gambling by preventing suppliers from being money lenders. Additional measures include self-exclusion for problem gamblers.
Federal Ministers in Melbourne, Australia recently announced sweeping changes to the sports betting industry. These changes are applicable across federal, territory and state areas, and they relate to the possible conflict of interest that currently exists. Presently, bookmakers are providers of online gambling services as well as providers of lines of credit. New legislation aims at preventing online gambling sites from offering lines of credit to their players.
The proposals by the Australian government are geared towards protecting players from unscrupulous online gambling providers. In Australia, the major bookmaking companies have concurred that they should no longer be offering clients lines of credit. Operators providing their gambling services to Australians recognize that they have to be responsible gaming operators. Corporate bookmakers are prevented from offering their services in most Australian territories, except for the Northern Territory.
Self-Exclusion Options to Be Included for Australian Gamblers
The Australian Government is currently working on a series of nationwide reforms to determine how to proceed with these changes. Self-exclusion options will be available across all forms of online gambling. The Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge clarified how this would work: Any gambling app where players self exclude will then make self-exclusion applicable across all forms of online gambling for that player. Further, players signing up to online gambling sites will make a commitment about how much they will be gambling over a preset period of time.
Opponents Have Their Doubts about Gambling Clampdown
Naysayers of the new proposals claim that they are ineffective, and don’t do enough to address problem gambling. There is talk of banning betting advertisements during live games of football and other sports. The Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, believes that the inextricably intertwined nature of politics and gambling will preclude an effective solution from taking root. The National Self Exclusion Register may or may not work, depending on how seriously players commit to it. The purpose of self-exclusion is to prevent a gambling problem from becoming a gambling addiction.
The big issue is the prevention of gambling lines of credit from gambling companies to their customers. Opponents of this legislation believe that other credit suppliers will simply fill the void for gambling companies. In Australia, most of the online gambling sites are registered in the Northern Territory, and this region has heretofore been one of the most liberal territories for online gambling . The Minister from the Northern Territory did not attend the recent meeting, but a representative expressed support for the measure. For now, no decision has been made as to whether the states will legislate or the Commonwealth government will issue a blanket ban on lines of credit from gambling sites.