Australia to review laws to protect against offshore gambling services

Australia’s Federal Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, announced that the government will conduct a review of its laws to protect gamblers from illegal offshore wagering and to investigate methods of putting in place more effective enforcement measures, according to a press release.

The review will be conducted by the former Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, who will consult with representatives from the racing industry, professional sports and wagering organisations, state and territory governments and community groups. 

A final report will be provided to the minister of social services and the minister of communications by 18 December 2015. 

The press release said illegal offshore wagering refers to wagering services offered to Australians by operators located outside Australia. 

“These operators do not comply with relevant Australian laws in many respects, meaning that these operators, unlike Australian licensed operators, do not: contribute product fees to Australian racing and sporting bodies; and monitor and report suspicious betting activities.”

The Minister said that offshore wagering is a $1 billion annual illegal business in Australia and that a number of wagering operators “are now moving offshore leading to operators being able to avoid paying the product and other fees that assist with funding racing and sports facilities, integrity measures, prize money and participant payments and other operational costs.”