Certain gambling laws in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, expire this September. As a result, the state is ready to bring new rules into play, some of which hope to prevent any more scandals in the local market.
The Betting and Racing Act 1998 and Betting and Racing Regulation 2012 regulate gambling in NSW. In addition, the Totalizator Act 1997 and Totalizator Regulation 2012 are part of the framework.
NSW wants to update the laws, primarily as they pertain to sports betting and racing. One of the ideas would expand the definition of prohibited inducements to include welcome offers and special odds.
Hefty Fines Coming to NSW
In addition, gambling advertising would not be able to encourage gamblers. These rules prohibit welcome offers that require users to create an account. The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) considers these to be easy paths to “gambling-related harm.”
Operators would no longer be able to offer any types of “special odds” for the same reasons. In addition, sports fans would no longer see any type of gambling ads during some sporting events. The ILGA will receive the legal authority to determine whether ads violate the policy.
For breaking these rules, operators can see fines of up to AU$15,000 (US$10,786). Individuals can get a fine of AU$5,500 (US$3,954).
A new term arriving since the last big reform in 2021 is “sports controlling body.” Kevin Anderson, Minister responsible for liquor gaming and racing legislation, will be able to approve applications to become one of these entities for an event.
Separate legislation for totalizator regulations is currently in its draft form. It allows the distribution of gambling information brochures as well as the display of notices regarding counselling services in any part of a facility that offers totalizator bets.
The existing regulations are only in effect until September 2022. The new regulations, titled the Betting and Racing Regulation 2022 and Totalizator Regulation 2022, will support both Acts if they are successful. In addition, the legislation will allow annual fees operators pay to the government to increase.
Time for Industry Input
Industry stakeholders will be able to provide feedback through the Have Your Say website on any aspect of the proposed regulations. Participation in the consultation can be done online, by sending a response via regular mail or completing an online survey. The deadline for submissions to this public consultation is June 22.
The protections in the regulations not only create sustainability for the industry, but certainty for the community that licensees are fit to conduct gambling, that penalties are fair and proportionate and that there is communication and engagement with people who do experience gambling harms,” said Anthony Keon, CEO of Hospitality and Racing in NSW’s Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.
NSW isn’t the only Australian state to be going through an update to its gambling laws. Queensland is working on a Casino Control Amendment Bill to achieve better oversight of its casinos.
The bill suggests massive fines in the event operators break the rules. In addition, the state is introducing new taxes to the sports betting industry and increasing the consumption tax from 15% to 20%.
Victoria is updating some of its rules, as well. It created the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission in the wake of the NSW saga. The new regulator will have greater unilateral authority than its predecessor, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
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