Online gambling and betting in Victoria, Australia faces new controls

Posted: July 6, 2022, 10:34 a.m.

Last update on: July 6, 2022, 03:54h.

The gaming industry in Australia is undergoing an overhaul on various levels. The latest changes are coming to Victoria and include changes to how online gambling operators conduct their business.

Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne
Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne, holding a press conference. She is now ready to advance the controls of Victoria’s gambling industry. (Image: Sydney Morning Herald)

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), the new state gambling regulator, is getting additional powers to oversee the industry. In the wake of investigations into how Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment mismanaged their casino operations, the VGCCC is devoting more resources to ensuring that all gaming operators are following the rules.

Under the guidance of a new ministerial instruction, online betting and gaming operators will have to step up their monitoring of users. Victoria hopes more reporting and more checks will provide better tools to prevent gambling harm in the state.

Operators need to be proactive

In the future, betting operators will have to provide their customers with a monthly statement of their monthly expenses. In addition, operators will have to train all their staff on responsible betting service. This includes identifying possible signs of gambling-related harm and how to foster a responsible gambling environment.

Consumers will now also have more control over their interaction with operators. Under the new guidelines, they can opt out of direct marketing materials to reduce the risk of temptation.

These new measures mean more Victorians are in control of their gambling habits and betting and betting game providers are given greater responsibility to keep their consumers safe.said Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Melissa Horne.

The new rules apply to all online operators who are licensed in Victoria. Even if they do not provide their services to the state, and only to users in other states, the requirements apply to them.

The road to responsible gaming

Although Crown and Star both showed a propensity to break the rules because they facilitated money laundering, this only served as a catalyst for change. Before regulators started forcing operators to better adhere to guidelines, they were working to provide better protections for consumers.

Prior to their actions, Victoria developed the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) for online betting in 2019. This led to myriad consumer checks in the state, as well as other Australian jurisdictions.

Overall, Australia does not have a high rate of problem gambling. Finder.com cites data which indicates that between 0.5% and 1% (only around 56,000) of the country’s adult population fall into the gambling problem category. Another 1.4% to 2.1% have a moderate risk of experiencing gambling problems.

To keep it that way, the NCPF has become the foundation for the creation of a number of safe gaming initiatives. For example, this has led to the banning of lines of credit for gambling and increased identity verification measures. Additionally, he helped introduce voluntary deposit limits and Australia’s National Self-Exclusion Registry.

Australia continues to advance its responsible gaming protocols at consumer and operator levels. As a result, operators must recognize that they are now permanently in the spotlight. Horne added in his statement that online betting companies must follow regulations or face penalties.

The VGCCC now has more power and introduces bigger fines. Therefore, operators have more stakes if they don’t toe the line.

James V. Hayes