Legislation and regulation
These are the key pieces of legislation that govern how gambling is conducted in Victoria and Australia.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Act 2011
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Act 2011 provides for the creation of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation Act 2011
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation Act 2011 provides for the creation of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to regulate the gambling and liquor industries in Victoria.
Gambling Regulation Act 2003
The Gambling Regulation Act 2003 governs the conduct of gambling activities in Victoria, other than the casino. The objective of the Act is to foster responsible gambling in order to:
(i) minimise harm caused by problem gambling, and
(ii) accommodate those who gamble without harming themselves or others.
Casino Control Act 1991
The Casino Control Act 1991 governs the conduct of gambling activities at casinos in Victoria. To date, Crown Melbourne is the only casino operator approved in Victoria.
Casino (Management Agreement) Act 1993
The Casino (Management Agreement) Act 1993 details the agreement entered into between the State of Victoria and Crown Melbourne, in particular the intended management of the casino.
Gambling Regulations 2015
The Gambling Regulations 2015 prescribe detailed regulations on the operation of different forms of gambling, including gaming machines, wagering and betting, trade promotion lotteries, raffles and bingo.
Gambling Regulation (Pre-commitment and Loyalty Scheme) Regulations 2014
The Gambling Regulation (Pre-commitment and Loyalty Scheme) Regulations 2014 prescribe matters in relation to pre-commitment and the conduct of loyalty schemes at gaming machine venues, including the casino.
Casino Control (Fees) Regulations 2015
The Casino Control (Fees) Regulations 2015 prescribe the fees to accompany various applications, including an application for a casino special employee licence.
Other regulatory elements – gaming venues
There are also Ministerial directions, guidelines and orders from the Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation that venues must comply with. Included in these are ministerial directions for the creation of responsible gambling codes of conduct and self-exclusion programs.
As part of its powers provided under the Gambling Regulation Act 2003, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has approved VCGLR directions and guidelines that commercial licensees, equipment manufacturers and their associates and nominees must follow.
A list of approved Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct is available from VCGLR.
In addition, there are specific technical standards the VCGLR has provided to assist in the evaluation of gaming equipment for operation in Victoria.
Interactive Gambling Act 2001
Online gambling is regulated by the Australian government under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. This Act is regulated by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, and prohibits online gambling, with the exception of Australian licensed companies providing race and sports betting services, and supplying lottery tickets.
Gambling advertisements during live sport
Gambling advertising during the broadcast of live sport in Australia is covered by a number of rules approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
These Codes of Practice prohibit gambling advertisements being shown during the broadcast of live sport on free TV, pay TV and radio. The ban applies from five minutes before the live sports event commences, during the event and for five minutes after the event has concluded. The ban applies between 5 am and 8.30 pm. After 8.30 pm, gambling advertisements can be shown but the promotion of live odds remains prohibited. Advertisements for racing and lotteries are exempt from these restrictions.
ACMA is also responsible for prohibiting gambling advertisements during the online streaming of live sport.
The Broadcasting Services (Online Content Service Provider Rules) 2018 prohibits gambling advertising during live sport that is streamed online between 5 am and 8.30 pm. These rules bring online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services and create a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms.
Content of gambling advertisements
The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has a self-regulatory communication code (the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communications Code) on wagering advertising and marketing that covers Australian licensed wagering operators, such as TABs and online bookmakers.
ACMA approves the codes while complaints about breaches of the code are determined by the Ad Standards Community Panel which forms part of the self-regulatory structure.
Static betting advertisements
In Victoria, betting advertisements are banned on roads, public transport, and within 150 metres of schools. These laws apply to all static betting advertising, including outdoor billboards, on public transport, roads and associated infrastructure such as stations, bridges, noise walls and embankments. These betting advertising bans are enforced under section 4.7.1 of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.