Monday 30. November, 2015

Senator Xenophon Introduces Gambling Amendment Bill into Senate

South Australian Senator and anti-gambling proponent, Nick Xenophon, has introduced the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill into Australia Senate. This is part of the plans of the Australian Federal Government to examine and amend the country’s online gambling regulations and taxes.

Senator Xenophon plans to use this bill to propose changes particularly in the areas of in-play betting, inducements offered by online operators and gambling advertisements during live sporting events.

“There is currently an absence of sensible measures to ensure online sports betting is conducted in a responsible manner,” stated Senator Xenophon. “This bill seeks to fill these gaps in a way that offers protection for those who have difficulty controlling their gambling, but will have minimal impact on so-called recreational gamblers.”

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison will lead a government review of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act which does not adequately address the issues of online gambling. According to Senator Xenophon, this review has provided the opportunity to examine the significant growth in online gambling, as well as the illegal offshore gambling and the impact of gambling on sports culture.

Specifically, the amendment bill recommends the introduction of a National Self-exclusion Register, banning micro betting, banning gambling advertisements on TV during sporting events and restricting or banning the ability to bet on credit. There has been significant attention drawn to operators that offer betting on credit with the claim that it leads to impulse betting.

Senator Xenophon went on to elaborate how credit offered by operators fuels problem gambling by making it too easy to chase losses. This practice has also been attacked by Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) who published a report entitled “Duds, Mugs and the A-list”, which detailed their objections to the practice of credit extensions and was referred to by Senator Xenophon in his draft bill.

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