Australian Government To Study Player Behaviour

Minister for Human Services says research will explore the impact of betting restrictions imposed by Australian licensed bookmakers, cited as a factor in decisions to gamble offshore

Alan Tudge, Australia’s minister for human services, has issued a press release advising that A$75,000 is being invested in research into online wagering restrictions and their impact on consumer behaviour.

The statement explains that the research is part of the government’s response to the Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering by Barry O’Farrell, and is designed to explore “options that will address the impact of betting restrictions imposed by Australian licenced bookmakers, which have been cited as a factor in decisions to gamble offshore.”

The Australian Gambling Research Centre will conduct the study to determine whether decisions to gamble offshore are influenced by industry and government betting restrictions. This new research is in addition to the government’s work to implement key reforms to combat illegal offshore wagering, which consists of three parts:

1. Crack down on illegal offshore gambling providers;

2. Clarify the law by prohibiting ‘click to call’ in-play wagering services to respect the original intent of the Interactive Gambling Act; and

3. Establish a strong National Consumer Protection Framework.

InfoPowa readers will recall that the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017 is currently before the federal parliament to implement the first two points.

In November last year the government reached an in-principle agreement with state and territory ministers to establish a consumer protection framework for online wagering, and a further meeting occurred yesterday (Friday) to agree on the detail.

Proposals include a national self-exclusion register for online wagering; a voluntary opt-out pre-commitment scheme for online wagering; and a prohibition on lines of credit being offered by wagering providers, together with other measures.

Minister Tudge said the research is a key part of the government’s reform of online wagering.

“The Government is delivering on its commitments to provide Australians with a safer online wagering environment,” he said.

“The research findings are expected mid-year and will help determine if betting restrictions impact our wagering industry and provide potential solutions for governments to consider. Alongside this research investment, the government is rapidly implementing key reforms to combat illegal offshore wagering.”

In related news, the political activity on the still-to-be-passed Interactive Gambling Amendment Act appears to have triggered early reactions, according to forum reports.

Several affiliates have reported being advised by the 32Red online casino group that with effect April 3 no further Aussie sign-ups will be accepted.

When InfoPowa went to press Saturday morning this could not be confirmed with the company, however a communication to affiliates by TTR Partners, the affiliate program for 32Red and Roxy Palace, advised:

“We are writing to inform you that as of midnight AEST on Monday 3rd April, TTRpartners.com and its associated brands will no longer be accepting registrations from Australian players. As a result, we request that with immediate effect you cease to promote our brands to Australian traffic and any links and promotional merchandise are removed from your site.

“This is the first step in TTRpartners.com ceasing to operate in the Australian market. At this stage you will continue to earn revenue share from any existing Australian players you have referred, however we will continue to keep you updated on further developments in due course.”

Several Australian players also reported receiving letters from the ANZ banking group advising that in regard to gaming they would “no longer be able to receive transfers to your debit or credit card using the Visa Original Credit Transaction (OCT) method”.