Stronger online wagering regulations come into force

South Australia is introducing tough new measures to protect people at risk of gambling harm and problem gambling, as part of an agreement struck by state, territory and commonwealth governments.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman today said that, from this Sunday, a range of new measures have been implemented through South Australia’s Gambling Codes of Practice, to ensure a more consistent national approach to interactive wagering.

“South Australia already has a number of measures in place to regulate interactive gambling and better protect people at risk of gambling related harm,” Ms Chapman said.

“We have already banned the offering of most inducements, such as rewards to open an account or gamble more, by providers.

“The measures that will be incorporated through the National Consumer Protection Framework complement the measures we already have in effect and will help bring other jurisdictions into line with our already stringent regulations.”

Under the changes, interactive wagering providers – including online and telephone services – will no longer be able to send direct marketing promotions to consumers in South Australia unless the consumer has given prior consent.

South Australia already has a requirement for wagering providers, which provide services via an account, to offer customers to be able to set pre-commitment limits, and Attorney-General Chapman said the changes will mean these limits will now need to be binding.

“South Australia has reported a significant increase in the number of people laying bets online,” Ms Chapman said.

“We also now know that online betting attracts young punters and is far more likely to turn into problem gambling than other forms.

“This is why it’s so important to ensure we have strong and effective measures to regulate this sector and, importantly, protect those who may be at risk of gambling-related harm.”

“Implementation of the National Consumer Protection Framework is staged, and the participating governments will be working toward future changes, including in relation to consistent gambling messaging and improved staff training.

“There is a strength in regulators working together at a national level to bring greater consistency between jurisdictions, and South Australia will continue to work with our counterparts on a range of gambling issues to help industry do business nationally, while ensuring a greater level of protection for consumers, including potentially vulnerable consumers.”