The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in Australia is investigating the online gambling industry. The goal of the inquiry is to discover the impact of the industry on people who have a gambling problem.
Currently, the committee is asking for submissions in writing from organizations and individuals regarding recommendations on inquiry terms. The submissions must be entered by November 11. The Committee plans on reviewing several issues within the industry including:
- Existing consumer protections and how effective they are in reducing problem gambling online.
- How effective is counselling and support services that are offered to players today.
- Online gambling educations programs; including access and quality.
The Committee will also consider how appropriate the current gambling regulations are based on emerging technology along with payment options and products. Are protections against illegal gambling services effective?
Consideration will be given to casino style gambling like blackjack and slot machines. The Committee will focus on how to better target programs that focus on problem gambling online so that at-risk people will be less exposed and individuals in Australia will be protected.
Committee Chair Peta Murphy MP commented on the inquiry by stating that the review will take a fresh look at online gambling and if current laws and regulations are working. Consumer protections, education, and support programs need assistance to reduce gamblers’ harm.
The Committee is currently concerned about the increase in reach of online gambling platforms and how children and young people are exposed to advertising. It is important to learn more about how such exposure could increase problem gambling in the future.
Entain Faces Australian Investigation
The review of online gambling comes at a time when a major gambling company is under scrutiny in Australia. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is investigating Entain Plc for compliance. The company may be lacking in the anti-money laundering department and counter-terrorism financing regulations.
The investigation was made public in mid-September and little details are known on the matter. Reporting entities in Australia must adhere to money laundering and terrorism financing protocols. Companies must be able to identify any issues and assess and manage problems.
Entain has reportedly failed in its adherence to such regulations, but to what extent is currently unknown. More scrutiny has been placed on Australian online betting within the past few years as iGaming has become more prevalent.
Regulators want to ensure that every operator is offering services above board and ensuring that every player is protected.