Australia to implement 2019 National Gambling Framework

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Australian government will be implementing the National Consumer Protection Framework for wagering, which will lead to a number of social responsibility initiatives, in 2019.

The framework contains a 10-point action plan, which was charted as a response to the 2015 O’Farrell Review of the country’s gambling industry. The imminent implementation had has overcome many hurdles: such as Queensland’s refusal to commit to the framework, preferring to develop its own strategy. Most of the hurdles seem to have been cleared.

“The measures are designed to reduce the harm that can be caused to individuals and their families by excessive or at-risk online wagering,” the country’s Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher explained. “The National Framework will apply to about 2.5 million active online wagering accounts, or about a million people in Australia.”

Two of the new measures have already been introduced, with a prohibition on lines of credit being offered by bookmakers and links between payday lenders and licensed wagering operators implemented from February 2018. This saw operators banned from taking advertising from payday loans companies on their websites, and from referring customers or providing customer information to lenders.

Within three months of the National Consumer Protection Framework coming into force, operators will then have to reduce the window in which customers have to verify their identity with bookmakers from 90 to 21 days. This is designed to prevent minors from gambling and ensure self-excluded customers cannot create new accounts.

There are other time-bound provisions to implement too: compliance of bookies with certain regulations on gambling marketing; mandatory provision of account summary to gamblers and a national self-exclusion scheme.