Australia creates first national framework to protect gamblers

By Matthew Enderby

Governments across Australia are formally committed to the National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering, expected to be rolled out in the next 18 months.

Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, said the framework provides 10 strong, nationally consistent protections for Australian gamblers.

Under the framework, operators will be required to give users easy-to-use tools that will give them better control over their gambling habits.

Australia’s long-standing acceptance of gambling, as well as technological advancements, have seen the rate of online problem gambling triple, according to the Minister.

He said: “The National Framework will apply to about 2.5 million active online wagering accounts, or about a million people in Australia.

“Most importantly, it will also apply to more than 240,000 Australians already experiencing significant harm from online wagering.”

For the first time in Australia a national self-exclusion register will allow players to block or limit themselves from accessing gaming websites, with the Commonwealth responsible for the measure.

The framework has been developed as a response to recommendations from a 2015 review of illegal offshore wagering, conducted by the Federal Government.

This builds on previous legislative reforms the government has already implemented, including restrictions on advertising, blocking links between payday loan companies and online betting operators, and blocking illegal operators.  


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