Victoria Passes Harm Minimization Laws for Betting Operators

Victoria Passes Harm Minimization Laws for Betting Operators

The government of Victoria is committed to making sure that gamblers will remain protected as lawmakers have passed a new ream of changes to the gambling laws in the state, hoping to minimize harm resulting from participation in online and sports betting activities.

These changes follow an investigation into Australia’s biggest gambling companies, Crown Resorts, and Star Entertainment Group, which were both found in breach of gambling laws in the country.

The new regulations are designated to ensure that consumers are protected which will involve monthly statements from operators and a mandatory Responsible Service of Wagering training for members of the staff.

The government is also empowering consumers by giving them the opportunity to opt-out of direct marketing materials and ensuring that gambling operators comply with this refusal. Additionally, these rules will apply to all companies licensed in the state, regardless of whether they have operations in other states.

To ensure that the new rules are met in full, the newly-established Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission will strictly oversee the implementation of said rules. Commenting on the new rules, minister for gaming and liquor regulation Melissa Horne said:

This is another important step towards minimizing gambling harm across Victoria and online betting companies will be held to account if they don’t follow the directions.

Victoria minister for gaming and liquor regulation Melissa Horne

Victoria Seeks to Protect At-Risk Consumers

Horne expressed confidence that the new rules would ensure that Victorian consumers are protected and in better control of their gambling hobby. According to the latest data, some 36,123 or 0.7% of Victorian adults experience problem gambling. Another 118,004 individuals or 2.4% are at moderate risk of developing a problem gambling.

Then, another 329,153, or 6.7% of Victorian adults are considered low-risk. The data is relevant to 2018-2019, but the recent investigations into Crown Resorts have prompted local governments and regulators to act preemptively in establishing clear-cut rules.

Meanwhile, operators will have to meet stronger responsibility criteria to ensure that consumers are kept safe.