Australia has been at the forefront of initiating online gambling protocols ever since the county’s gambling habits have surged in recent years. The underlying results of this borderline obsession is a great number of Australians are finding themselves going into immense debt in order to feed a gambling habit.
The situation has become more dire year after year, so much so, in fact, Australian regulators have had no choice but to implement regulations and legislations to try and combat this national crisis – New South Wales seems to be putting their money where their mouth is to further this new initiative.
New sports betting protocols in place
Recently, the Australian province Victoria launched a full-on war against sports betting site through implementing new gambling protocols that hit the sports betting market heavily. In early May of 2019, Victorian gambling regulators passed regulations in hopes of barring and outlawing certain practices currently implemented by sports betting sites. Regulators deemed specific practices by sports books as exploitive and dangerous to the Australian consumer. The new law passed in Victoria stops sports books from offering customers “free bets” in exchange for them wagering their winnings.
Such kind of regulations have been passed under the “Australia-first” initiative whose purpose is to implement laws and regulations on the Australian gambling market in order to curb unhealthy and unfair gambling practices.
When the news of Victoria placing regulatory bans on sports betting surfaced New South Wales found themselves being called out by Marlene Kairouz, the Gaming Minister of Victoria who proclaimed that at the time Victoria was the only Australian province that has its “act together” when it comes to gambling regulations and the “Australia-first” initiative. In the same breath she called out New South Wales as being completely “behind the curb”
New South Wales responds
It seems that New South Wales didn’t take much liking to the assumptions and statements made by Victoria and has just announced their own contribution to the Australia-first imitative by investing a whopping $1.3 million (AUD) to further “responsible gambling” initiatives.
The Australian territory chose to invest three lump sums, specifically $909,378, $715,712 and $799,788 in a number of various projects all designed to put the interests of Australian customers first and protect them from gambling related exploitation and unfair practices. The province pledged to launch a new website to be designed by the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic. The sites aim will be to help consumers to exclude themselves from a number of gambling initiatives and services.
Furthermore, the state will invest $176,400 in funds to enhance the state’s current self-exclusion tools allowing players to exercise this right online. The current system requires customers to show up to a gambling venue in order to self-exclude which the state reckons prohibits many who want and need the service to not do so because of the inconvenience of doing it at a venue. Regulators hope that having this function online and easily available will help more Australian customers do so.
Investing in educational content
Additionally, New South Wales gave Deakin University $250,000 to design two online courses that will deliver safety gambling educational content. All courses will be made available online. According to statements from the New South Wales Gaming Office, the new courses should offer a community based social learning experience for the people of New South Wales. The course will appeal to young people, lower socioeconomic, Indigenous people, and other vulnerable groups, furthermore school teachers as well as gambling support facilities will also have access to the courses.
Natalie Wright, the director of the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling pointed out that as much as online gambling had risen due to the internet, regulators also had a new avenue to best help Australian consumers. She said that technology may well be the cause of the soaring numbers of NSW gamblers but may also be the cure and the way to further he governments initiative to reach more Australians and offer them the gambling services, information and protection they need. She further went on to state that through funding programs and research initiatives mentioned above, the state will further develop, more accurately the foundation for responsible gaming protocols and regulations.
Putting the Australian consumer first
It seems Australian gambling offices have woken up and are really smelling the coffee. They are taking responsibility for ensuring the safety of Australian gamblers amidst the rising numbers of the Australian gambling market. Victoria and New South Wales may be some of the first territories to implement such action focused and seemingly harsh gambling policies. However, we don’t see this slowing down and this may just be the first round in more initiatives to take root.
Australia has clearly identified the need to put their citizens first, even above profits and the result may really prove to be beneficial in the long-term economical and financial health of the country.