Better bets on table for
Online gamblers are to be better protected under a new national harm minimisation and consumer protection standard.
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said the Commonwealth would work with the state and territory governments to strengthen consumer protections following release of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s final report of the Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA).
“As recommended by this report, the Federal Government will seek the commitment of the states and territories to develop and implement a national standard for harm minimisation and consumer protection that covers all licensed online gambling activities,” Senator Conroy said.
“A national standard for harm minimisation and consumer protection will provide a consistent approach to online gambling regulation across all Australian states and territories.”
He said the standard would include an extension of pre-commitment capability to online gambling; stricter rules around lines of credit; and limits on the types of inducements that could be offered by online gambling providers.
“As the way Australians use gambling services shifts online, we need to ensure that protections for consumers remain robust and relevant,” Senator Conroy said.
“I have written to state and territory gambling ministers to seek their commitment to the development and implementation of a national standard, and to seek their views on the other recommendations made in the Report.
“I look forward to working constructively with them towards creating a safer online gambling environment for consumers.”
Senator Conroy said recommendations for changes to the trial of online tournament poker or ‘in-play’ sports wagering would not be implemented.
“The Review also identified concerns in relation to casino-style gambling simulations being accessed through a variety of platforms including social media, and the potential risk that this may pose to children,” he said.
“I will be writing to the providers of these games and social networking services to seek more information about how they are addressing these issues.”
The Department’s Report can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 353, 19 March 2013