Review of Online Sports Betting Laws

The Australian announced on Wednesday that there will be a review of current online gambling laws, and it’s created quite a stir. The Interactive Gambling Act was established back in 2001, but many believe that it has become outdated and there are new issues that need to be addressed. This comes as a result of revelations of inducements and credits granted to online sports betting enthusiasts that have developed gambling addictions.

Gambling addiction has become a serious issue with Australian sports. Background Briefing released a report that showed a significant increase in gamblers becoming gambling addicts. Various gambling treatment centers have shown that their client numbers have doubled, or even tripled, in many locations. Betting companies are able to encourage gamblers to bet larger amounts, and while the odds are always against the gambler, many take on this challenge in hopes of a big payout. This can leave them in financial trouble and will result in large losses. This is why new laws are expected to surface from the review.

The biggest law that is facing controversy would be the idea of eliminating sports betting ads. Television executives kept the federal government lines busy after this announcement, as this would be a big hit to their revenue since a substantial amount of sports advertising is done through betting companies.

Senator Nick Xenophon explained that while he was pleased with the announcement of a sports betting gambling review, he is not going to patiently stand by and wait for the outcome. Xenophon is looking to pursue a new bill which will outlaw inducements and credit betting. It would also be used to create a national exclusion register specifically targeting gambling addictions.

Xenophon always wants to target out sports betting advertisements. Family viewing television times have advertising restrictions that typically prevent these types of advertisements from being displayed, but sports is considered an exception which allows for sports betting ads to currently be viewed.

“Most people want a ban. [Watching sports] is a family activity. Why should it be exempt?” Nick Xenophon explained.

CrownBet CEO Matt Tripp told Background Briefing a few months back in July, “We’ve been lobbying very hard for a number of years now to ensure that [inconsistency] is eradicated. Platform neutrality is all we’re chasing and we need to be on a level playing field with our competitors. I think you’ll find that there are a couple of foreign wagering operations… they are Australian-based, so William Hill, Ladbrokes, and now Bet365, who seem to have found a way around the IGA by having a system in place where you can place bets online while a game has started. We too have the facility to do that, but we haven’t rolled that out yet. We just want to get some clearance from the ACMA and from the Australian Federal Police before we do that.”