Changes to the rules governing the way that interactive wagering services are provided to consumers now apply.
The changes result from collaboration with other states and territories to provide stronger, and nationally consistent protections for consumers of interactive wagering services licensed in Australia, and aims to help prevent and mitigate the risk of harm from interactive wagering. Read more about the national consumer protection framework for online wagering.
The changes are being implemented in a staged process and will affect providers and consumers.
New State and Territory changes
From 26 May 2019, the first set of changes which individual state and territory governments are required to implement are as follows:
- The offer of any credit, voucher, rewards or other benefit as an incentive to open an account or refer another person to open an account is prohibited
- Any credit, voucher, rewards or other benefit (that is directed at encouraging customers to gamble) that is not part of an approved loyalty program must not be offered in SA
- Winnings from a free betting credit or token must be able to be withdrawn without being subject to any turnover requirements
- All direct marketing to customers may only be sent to customers who provide their express consent to receive this material
- A customer must be able to unsubscribe from receiving direct marketing materials.
South Australia already has had a ban on inducements (except under certain circumstances) for many years through the Responsible Gambling Code of Practice (refer to clause 54)
- The process for account closure must be prominent and clearly articulated on the interactive wagering service provider’s website and within each customer’s ‘My Account’ window
- The account closure process must commence immediately upon receipt of the account closure request and result in the account being closed after all bets have been settled
- A customer must not be encouraged or induced to keep their account open following their request to close their account.
- A customer must be prompted to set a deposit limit (or spend limit as an option) during the account sign-up process with those limits binding
- Further deposits must not be accepted from a customer above the deposit limit set by the customer
- A request by a customer to decrease their deposit limit must be applied immediately and must not be applied until 7 days after the day the request was received
- All customers must be prompted to set and review their deposit limit yearly
- Customers must be able to choose the time period for their deposit limit from a range of periods, including daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly
South Australia already had a requirement for pre-commitment for many years through the Responsible Gambling Code of Practice (refer to clause 61). However, the scheme developed as part of the Framework varies slightly to suit the online wagering context, therefore, there are separate pre-commitment schemes in the Codes of Practice.
Future changes will be made in 2020
The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will continue to roll out the remaining changes over the next 12 months as follows:
Consistent gambling messaging
- This measure provides for evidence-based consistent gambling messaging
This measure provides for the training of certain staff in the responsible service of interactive wagering
National self-exclusion register
- This measure provides for a national self-exclusion register (NSER) for interactive wagering. This system ensures that those experiencing gambling harm can immediately exclude themselves from the services offered by all interactive wagering service providers
South Australia already has a self-exclusion program. If you need help with problem gambling including if you want to be barred, or are concerned about another person’s gambling and need further information visit www.sa.gov.au.
Further information on the future changes will be provided in the lead up to their implementation.
Changes already implemented
The Commonwealth Government has already implemented the following three changes:
Prohibition of lines of credit – From 17 February 2018
Credit must not be offered or provided by an interactive wagering service provider to their customer.
Payday lenders – From 17 February 2018
- Small amount credit contracts must not be advertised or marketed on an interactive wagering service provider’s website.
- An interactive wagering consumer must not be referred to a credit provider to finance their wagering activity.
Customer verification – From 26 February 2019
- Customers must be verified within a maximum 14 day period to continue using an interactive wagering account
- Interactive wagering service providers must return all deposited funds and close an account immediately if a person is verified as a person under 18 years of age
- Read more about the Responsible Gambling Code of Practice on sa gov.au.
- For more information about the State Government’s commitment to a broader review of all gambling regulations.
- To make a complaint or report a breach of the new laws.