Gambling Ministers agree to Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering
The Government has today reached agreement with State and
Territory Ministers to establish a strong National Consumer Protection
Framework for online wagering.
Chaired by the Minister for Human Services, Hon Alan Tudge MP,
Commonwealth, state and territory gambling ministers met today in Melbourne and
gave in-principle agreement to key aspects of the Government’s response to the O’Farrell Review of Illegal Offshore
a national self-exclusion register for online wagering;
voluntary pre-commitment scheme for
online wagering; and
prohibition of lines of credit being
offered by wagering providers.
The full details of the agreement are outlined in the Communique
Officials will work on the details of each measure with final
agreement next year.
This agreement to progress the National Consumer Protection
Framework is the second stage of the Government’s agenda to implement the
Earlier in the month, Mr Tudge introduced legislation to crack
down on illegal offshore wagering providers and clarify the law in relation to
Mr Tudge said that the agreement today was an important milestone.
“The agreement today will pave the way for stronger protections
for everyday gamblers,” said Mr Tudge.
“The rate of problem gambling in the online space is three times
higher than elsewhere and online gambling is growing by 15 percent per
annum. This means that the problems of
the future are all coming from online punting unless we have better protections
“The O’Farrell Review found that our current consumer protections
are weak and considerably below best practice.
These practical initiatives that we have agreed today are aimed at
reducing problem gambling, largely by giving people better information and
tools to control their expenditure.
“A national self-exclusion register will be particularly important
to help people who know they are starting to get themselves into trouble. With
one click, they will be able to self-exclude from all online gambling providers,”
said Mr Tudge.
Mr Tudge has advocated the prohibition of credit betting ever
since an unemployed constituent of his was provided $80,000 in credit and
almost lost his house.
Communique is below.
Meeting on Illegal Offshore Wagering Reform
and state and territory ministers met for the first time in Melbourne today to
discuss the Australian Government’s Response
to the Review of Illegal Offshore
Wagering. The meeting was chaired by the Hon Alan Tudge MP, the
Commonwealth Minister for Human Services, with responsibility for illegal
noted that the Review found that online wagering, growing at 15 per cent
per annum, is the fastest growing gambling segment in Australia. Over $1.4
billion is wagered online each year.
was also noted that while there is no authoritative figure, it is estimated
that between five per cent and 26 per cent of all gambling expenditure occurs
via illegal offshore gambling sites. These illegal sites present several
problems including greater risk to consumers, sports integrity issues, and loss
of jobs and revenue in Australia.
acknowledged that gambling is a legitimate industry, and that many Australians
enjoy recreational online wagering. Recognising this, governments want to
ensure that nationally consistent consumer protections are in place to better
protect Australian consumers.
of a strong National Consumer Protection Framework
noted the Review of Illegal Offshore
Wagering identified that the consumer protection regime for online wagering
is inconsistent across Australia.
agreed that more can be done to limit the harm caused by online wagering for Australians
and agreed to continue working together towards the development of a National
Consumer Protection Framework. In‑principle agreement was provided for the
following elements to be included in this framework;
national self-exclusion register for online wagering;
voluntary, opt-out pre-commitment scheme for online wagering;
of lines of credit being offered by online wagering providers;
harmonised regulatory regime to ensure the offering of inducements are consistent
with responsible gambling;
provision of operators to provide activity statements for online wagering on
demand and on a regular basis;
consistent responsible gambling messaging and gambling counselling advice
across the nation;
training in the responsible conduct of gambling through a government approved provider;
the current 90 day verification period for customer verification to open a
links between online wagering operators and pay day lenders; and
national consistency in advertising of online wagering services.
Framework will put in place a higher level of national consumer protections
than is currently in place in Australia to improve harm minimisation outcomes
for Australian consumers.
working group has been established and will continue developing the National
Consumer Protection Framework. Details will be provided for the next meeting of
Ministers in early 2017 with a public consultation process to follow.
to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001
acknowledged the need to crack down on illegal offshore gambling providers and
noted that amendments to the Interactive
Gambling Act 2001 were introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament on 10
- clearly state that it is illegal
for overseas gambling companies to offer interactive gambling products to
Australians without a state or territory licence;
- empower the Australian
Communications and Media Authority with new civil penalties;
- introduce other disruption measures
to curb illegal offshore gambling activity, such as placing company
directors of illegal offshore companies on the Movement Alert List; and
- clarify the law by prohibiting
‘click-to-call’ in-play wagering services to respect the original intent
of the Interactive Gambling Act.
also acknowledged that the Australian Government is making progress on
assessing the feasibility of Internet Service Provider and Financial Payment
25 November 2016
contact: Rachelle Miller (0475 804 886) or Sarah Bland (0417 776 312)