On 27 April 2017, the Australian Government reached an in-principle agreement with state and territory gambling ministers to introduce reforms to provide stronger consumer protections for online gambling.
Ministers agreed in-principle to measures to be included in the National Consumer Protection Framework, which will apply broadly across all forms of online and telephone wagering services.
The measures include:
- a national self-exclusion register for online wagering
- a voluntary opt-out pre-commitment scheme for online wagering
- prohibiting credit being offered by online wagering providers
- ensuring the offer of inducements is consistent with responsible gambling
- providing activity statements on demand and on a regular basis
- more consistent responsible gambling messaging
- staff involved in providing wagering services to complete training in the responsible conduct of gambling
- reducing the current 90-day verification timeframe for customer verification
- prohibiting links between online wagering providers and payday lenders
- greater national consistency in advertising of online wagering services.
The establishment of the National Consumer Protection Framework is part of the Australian Government's response to the O'Farrell Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering.
Ministers agreed to implement many of these measures by the end of 2017, with some requiring further testing and research to be undertaken to ensure their effectiveness.
National Gambling Research Model
Ministers agreed on a new partnership to continue collaboration on national gambling research. The partnership will be similar to the former Gambling Research Australia model and will commence on 1 July 2017 with governments committing funding of up to $3 million over three years.
A working group has been established to finalise the agreement, with New South Wales providing secretariat support.
A governance committee will be established to help form the research agenda, which will encompass issues of national significance and be focused on the needs of governments.
Ministers also noted work is being undertaken by Australian and state and territory treasurers on a national wagering tax.