“We congratulate Minister Alan Tudge in developing this framework in a consultative way and for doing it quickly. Although there is still a lot of detail to work out, the principles are absolutely right,” said Ms Lauren Levin, Director Campaigns and Policy.
- prohibiting lines of credit being offered by online wagering providers. Gambling and credit do not go together and this will stop a lot of harm. People currently don’t even have to ask for credit, often they’re given the credit “just in case”. We need this reform implemented urgently. (This reform doesn’t cover credit provided by banks and payday lenders, only by online gambling operators – see later)
- a national self-exclusion register. The aim is for people to be able to press one button and self-exclude from all online operators, but to have the choice to select the duration that the person is most comfortable with — ranging from an initial ‘take a break’ to a long-term ban
- voluntary, opt-out pre-commitment — all online gambling companies will have to offer their customers the ability to easily set self-protection limits around their gambling. The rub is ‘what happens when that limit is reached’. Will an addicted gambler be allowed to chase losses and tear down the protection they set up, or will their original ‘rationally set limit’ be honoured as a firm protective barrier?
- online gambling operators having to provide regular financial activity statements. At the moment most people can’t tell financial counsellors what they have spent or lost (or even won for the few who win occasionally). Most of the companies don’t make this information readily available for obvious reasons – it would be confronting to their customers to see how much they’ve lost. Gambling operators will have to provide this ‘bottom line’ — this is a good thing.
- discouraging links between payday lenders and online gambling operators. When gambling operators are prohibited from providing credit, they will look for money from other sources. Many people with gambling debts already present with payday loans and these high cost products are not good news for a struggling consumer’s budget.
- more consistent responsible gambling messaging and gambling counselling advice across the nation
- staff training in the responsible conduct of gambling through a government approved provider
- reducing the current 90 day verification period before a person can open a wagering account
- greater national consistency in advertising of online wagering services
- a harmonised regulatory regime to ensure the offering of inducements are consistent with responsible gambling.
Gambling advertising is out of control and the cause of widespread community concern. The only way for this to be addressed will be through government regulation.