Australia’s first ‘National Consumer Protection Framework’ will solidify the nation’s status as “a leader in social responsibility in wagering”, according to the Minister for Social Services Paul Fletcher.
The six state governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia will now collaborate on developing consistent nationwide policies, regulating the online gambling sector.
Seeking to harmonise regulatory codes, practices and standards, the National Framework published its founding ‘10 measures’ which will be implemented progressively over the next 18-month period:
- Prohibiting all lines of credit for online wagering/gambling
- Barring payday lending functions for betting consumers
- Developing unified ID-verification standards and processes
- Applying restrictions on inducements – vouchers, refer-a-friend schemes and bonuses
- Enforcing a ‘voluntary opt-out’ player commitment scheme
- Establishing standards and requirements for consistent messaging on online gambling marketing
- Monitoring online gambling operator staff training
- Putting forward requirements on data gathering of player transactions and activities
- Supervising correct operator ‘Account Closure’ procedures
- Establishing and operating Australia’s ‘National Self Exclusion Register’
Leading the National Framework development, a social directive first initiated in 2015, Fletcher stated: “The measures are designed to reduce the harm that can be caused to individuals and their families by excessive or at-risk online wagering,” he said.
“The National Framework will apply to about 2.5 million active online wagering accounts, or about a million people in Australia. Most importantly, it will also apply to more than 240,000 Australians already experiencing significant harm from online wagering.”
Meanwhile, independent industry body Responsible Wagering Australia branded the National Framework as the nation’s first progressive and modern mandate for online gambling services, calling for wider public stakeholders in academia, health, technology and research to support the frameworks founding vision.
Stephen Conroy, Responsible Wagering Australia Executive Director, said: “These are landmark reforms which solidify Australia’s place as a leader in social responsibility in wagering.”
“We are grateful to Minister Fletcher and his predecessors, Ministers Tehan and Tudge, for leading a thorough and consultative process on this important package of measures.”
Under the National Framework, industry will be required to better inform gamblers of their wagering activity, and people will be given easy-to-use tools that give them the ability to better control their gambling.