Two key gambling regulations in New South Wales (NSW) are about to expire in September and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) is proposing new versions to the industry and the public for comment.
In Line with Industry and Public Expectations
The two regulations, the Betting and Racing Regulation and Totalizator Regulation, deal with the minimization of gambling harm via measures such as counseling services, prescriptions for penalty notices, allowable TAB holdings, as well as special exemptions.
Commenting on the upcoming statutory reviews, Anthony Keon, chief executive officer of Hospitality and Racing within the department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade responsible for the Office of Racing and the Office of Responsible Gambling within ILGA, outlined the reviews should ensure the regulations remain in alignment with the changing industry and public expectations.
“The protections in the Regulations not only create sustainability for the industry but certainty for the community that licensees are fit to conduct gambling, that penalties are fair and proportionate and that there is communication and engagement with people who do experience gambling harms,” Keon noted while paying attention to the fact that a large part of the community is favoring wagering as long as it is not excessive and does not create gambling problems.
“Essentially, the Regulations support the legislation and are there to set the standards around the conduct of betting service providers so punters can freely pursue wagering as a safe form of leisure and entertainment.”
Anthony Keon, CEO, Hospitality and Racing, ILGA
Scope of Proposals
The new versions of both regulations propose an expansion of the penalty notice offenses for the regulator to provide an alternative to court prosecution. There is a ban on inducements for gambling such as free entry into competitions and offers featuring special odds.
The NSW government also proposes an annual adjustment for inflation to apply to the fees collected, as well as sports controlling bodies to keep the Minister updated on any changes in their circumstances.
The proposed legislation includes provisions for the Secretary to change the wording of mandatory counseling and gambling help notices alongside evidence-based changes in the environment.
Seeking to ensure the industry continues on a thriving path, the NSW government is opening a consultation period for the new proposals and starting May 25, is inviting individuals and stakeholders to have their say. The consultation period will continue until June 22.
The east coast Australian state is committed to tackling questionable practices of gambling operators, continuing with the inquiry into one of the two land-based casino companies, The Star Entertainment Group, having stripped its competitor, Crown Resorts, of its casino license last year.
The NSW regulator is also adamant financial penalties for illegal advertising should increase to boost their effectiveness.