Further Steps Taken Towards Regulating the Australian Gambling Market
It’s well known that Australia was the biggest gambling nation on Earth and the situation did not change too much in recent years. However, starting with 2018, the authorities seem to be much more interested in bringing down the gambling phenomenon over claims of a worrying increase of problem gamblers in the country. So, after years of only mimicking actions, it looks like the Australian government is set to change the way gambling in all its forms takes place in the region.
Even though some online casinos have already stopped delivering their services to Australian players because of the announced changes, there are still plenty online casinos to choose from. However, the plan is to strictly regulate the market so that the number of problem gamblers is reduced within the following years. One of the first steps towards achieving that goal is the introduction of a National Consumer Protection Framework that will come with 10 minimum standards for online casinos and sports betting operators offering their services in Australia.
The idea of a framework is not at all a new project, the discussions on such a measure are taking place for years. However, the one state that was against the idea and decided to develop their own problem gambling framework, Queensland, finally got on board with the other states and the nation-wide framework can be put into place now. It is estimated that the National Consumer Protection Framework is going to be implemented in the next following 18 months so there’s still plenty of time for casino players to enjoy their favorite casinos without restrictions.
The most important feature of the new framework that will be implemented across the country is the ability of players to self-exclude from all the online casinos at once, with just a click. Another interesting feature that will be offered through the Framework will be the possibility of setting deposit and wagering limits on various periods of time.
Besides giving players more control, the new framework will also come with new requirements from the casinos. Each operator will need to deliver a detailed wagering history to each customer to be able to check how much they spent and what was the outcome of every bet they placed in the casino.
It is specified in the project that the inducement rules that are now applied in New South Wales, preventing bookies online casinos to make gambling more appealing to players, will be introduced in all states along with the new framework. In other words, this means that no online casino will be able to create welcome bonus offers that give you a bonus for creating a new account. So, if you really love those free sign-up bonuses, you should take advantage of them while you still can.
The Banks Are Also Doing Their Part
Besides the concern expressed by the gambling regulators in all states, changing the way gambling takes place in Australia also requires some implication from the financial institutions. Since it’s well-known that casinos who try to operate under the radar will always exist, getting the big banks in Australia to contribute is believed to be a very important move. The first bank to respond to the call of Australian authorities is ANZ that introduced a problem gambling policy limiting the customers’ ability to use credit or debit cards for online betting. Starting the 3rd of December 2018, ANZ will limit their customers to a 85% of the spending limit in place right now when the card is used at online casinos.
Fines to Enforce the New Regulations
With all the changes in legislation, the introduction of the National Consumer Protection Framework and all the changes other changes that will take place in Australia, there needs to be a way into convincing the operators to comply with the new way of doing things. And since there’s nothing worse for a business than to lose money, fining the non-compliant operators was selected as the best way to go.
Just recently, Paddy Power, the parent company of Sportsbet in Australia, got a AUD 10,000 fine for offering unlawful inducements through allowing players to refer their friends in exchange for a bonus. Neds, another online gambling operator in Australia also received a AUD 18,000 fine from the New South Wales gambling authority for the same reasons, enticing players to open new accounts through bonuses or rewards.
It is obvious that change is imminent in the way land-based and online gambling takes place in Australia. And the families of those suffering from gambling addictions couldn’t be happier to hear about all these new changes in legislation and enforcing it. However, not all Australian players are happy to hear about the limitations brought to their right to enjoy casino games and already there’s some controversy surrounding these decisions. Only time will tell if Australia will manage to fully regulate their gambling industry, however, things are definitely on the move.