Govt sets measures against online gambling

Australia’s federal, state and territory ministers have agreed on 11 new measures to reduce the harm of online problem gambling, The Australian reports.

The framework was signed off on Thursday afternoon in a meeting between state and federal ministers, including Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.

Once enacted, the new measures will no longer allow online gambling companies to offer lines of credit to their customers.

A voluntary, opt-out precommitment scheme will also be established. Additionally, links between online wagering providers and payday lenders will be prohibited.

Ministers have also agreed to a national self-exclusion register for online wagering by September this year, which will allow problem gamblers to ban themselves between three months and a lifetime.

A new National Consumer Protection Framework is also expected to be implemented by the end of this year.

Mr Tudge said the framework was the centrepiece of the government’s response to former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell’s review of illegal offshore wagering.

“Many Australians enjoy a punt and the agreement today paves the way for stronger protections for them,” he said, quoted by The Australian.

“The rate of problem gambling online is three times higher than elsewhere, and online wagering is growing by 15 percent per annum.

“In the future, more problems will come from online punting unless we have better protections in place.”

Mr Tudge said the government will be considering means to block internet service providers and payments in order to combat illegal offshore wagering operators.