Monday 26. October, 2015

Online Gambling Regulation Changes Proposed in South Australia

Regulatory changes have been proposed in South Australia that would prevent online gambling operators from offering unsolicited credit to their customers. Proposed by the Independent Gambling Authority (IGA) to the South Australian Gambling Code of Practice, any new regulations would impact the 19 licensed online gambling companies in the state and the 74,000 registered betting accounts available through them.

The changes would include the immediate processing of withdrawals and the complete divulgence of “spotter’s fees”. A due diligence process would need to be conducted before credit could be offered to prevent situations that were exposed in a Financial Counselling Australia report that was published in August that found that questionable practices were being used by operators when it came to offering customers credit.

“In some cases, account holders are offering credit ranging from $200 to the tens of thousands with no consideration given to the person’s circumstances, their capacity to repay or their well-being,” stated Gail Gago, Minister for Business Services and Consumers.

The report found that questionable practices of operators includes contacting account holders through service agents who encourage them to choose from particular products, such as unsolicited credits, offered by a specific operator.

“The practices that have been documented are very seductive and some of the things that have been revealed in the report and other forums that we’ve recently been to suggest the courting and the grooming of wagering account holders is quite pernicious,” added Robert Chappell, Director of the IGA.

The IGA is giving online operators 28 days to respond to the proposed changes and the IGA is expecting the changes to become effective as early as the New Year.

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