Thursday 8. December, 2016

Australian Betting Operators Form New Industry Organisation

A number of betting operators in Australia have banded together to form a new trade organisation to replace the Australian Wagering Council (AWC) which was disbanded in August.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) was launched this week by founding members which include Bet365, Betfair, Crownbet, Sportsbet and Unibet. Ladbrokes and William Hill, who initiated the disbandment of the AWC when they withdrew their support from the organisation, have declined to join the new group.

The RWA’s code of conduct includes responsible gambling and harm minimisation protocols. The organisation will also work to improve integrity in sport and will work with the government, law enforcement, sports groups and industry to help eradicate risks from illegal offshore operators and to identify fraudulent betting activity.

In addition, it plans to support government initiatives to minimise any “adverse influence” of betting during live sport broadcasts. This includes reducing the amount of advertising during live sports broadcasts and requiring operators to do away with credit betting and to offer a larger selection of ‘time out’ functions.

Online bookies are facing a number of new initiatives and restrictions and the RWA will be involved. In addition to the TV advertising restrictions, these include the place of consumption betting taxes that are being introduced in South Australia from July 1, 2017.

Stephen Conroy, former Labor party senator, has been appointed executive director of the RWA, while Richard Colbeck, former Liberal party senator, has taken the position of chairman.

“I’m delighted to have the chance to work with Richard and with Australian wagering operators to build an industry body dedicated to responsible wagering,” said Mr Colbeck.

“I’m looking forward to working closely and cooperatively with the Australian government on their consumer protection agenda. We share their objectives and we are determined to engage constructively to make it work.”

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