Senator Nick Xenophon introduced his private Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015 into the Senate on the 24 November 2015. The Bill, if passed, will amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to insert a new definition which encompasses websites through which individuals can place bets on sporting events.
According to Senator Xenophon in his second reading speech:
“Online gambling, in particular online sports betting, has grown exponentially over the past 10 years in Australia and with it an exponential increase in the harms associated with problem gambling... There is currently an absence of sensible measures to ensure online sports betting is conducted in a responsible manner. This Bill seeks to fill these gaps in a way that offers protection for those who have difficulty controlling their gambling but will have minimal impact on so-called recreational gamblers.”
The Bill accordingly inserts the new terminology of ‘restricted wagering service’ into the act. The term is crafted to capture gambling services that are provided to customers by means of any internet carriage services, any broadcasting carriage service, and a datacasting service. The purpose behind the Bill is to implement harm minimisation measures to help individuals who are engaged in online sports betting better control their gambling.
The Bill also sets up a Regulator who will monitor and enforce restricted wagering services’ compliance with the Act. The Regulator has the functions of advising and assisting people to comply with the new provisions of the Act as inserted by this Bill.
The Bill will also create a National Self-exclusion Register for those who wish to bar themselves from accessing online sports betting.
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Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015, Explanatory Memorandum and Second Reading Speech - available from TimeBase's LawOne service
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