Just this week, it was reported that sports betting companies in Australia have been providing unsolicited credit to customers, creating an uncontrolled environment for betting. A report was issued by the Financial Counselling Australia group and covered by many media outlets, showing that bookmakers in Australia are targeting vulnerable betters with offers for credit as well as tactically withholding player payouts.
The FCA report shows that the industry, being described by the group as uncontrolled, is causing major issues which need to be addressed as soon as possible. The FCA stated that is the current situation is the future of gambling, then ‘it is indeed frightening’.
The FCA has recommended that new bettors that join a sportsbook online should have to name a maximum wager amount before the account is activated. This would allow the punter to only wager as much as the previously set amount. The group would also like to see links to payday lenders on sports books to be outlawed.
In the report, it mentions William Hill, as they were criticized about allegedly contacting hundreds of customers and offering a ‘deferred settlement facility’. Based on information by News.com.au, the offer would give the customer $1,000 in borrowed money as credit to wager on the site. The credit offer gained heavily criticism via the gambling awareness groups and financial groups in Australia. The practice of this is outlawed in many countries as the UK being one.
As the industry grows, so does the problem apparently, as on top of credit offerings the country also has reported Melbourne and Sydney have excessive gambling problems. Reports of famous sports players have also come to light with large amounts of money gambling on sporting events.
With the provisions in place, the sports betting industry of Australia will need to implement reforms in the coming months to avoid any issues in the future in regards to the industry. Bad press as well as gambling issues could result in harming the industry if does not make any changes.