NSW Closes Consultation for 2022 Draft Racing and Wagering Regulations
Monday 11 July 2022 @ 2.29 p.m. | Legal Research
On 25 May 2022, Liquor and Gaming NSW released exposure drafts for the [Draft] Betting and Racing Regulation 2022 (NSW) and the [Draft] Totalizator Regulation 2022 (NSW) (‘the Draft Regulations’) for public consultation. The consultation period ended on 22 June 2022. The Draft Regulations have not yet been notified.
Purpose of the Draft Regulations
The Draft Regulations are intended to replace the current Betting and Racing Regulation 2012 (NSW) and Totalizator Regulation 2012 (NSW), which are scheduled to be repealed as part of the staged legislative repeal program on 1 September 2022.
The consultation page for the Draft Regulations states:
“The proposed Regulations keep many of the existing rules for businesses conducting wagering and racing activities, but are updated to improve clarity, logic and flow. In addition to this, some of the key changes include:
- strengthening harm minimisation principles and responsible gambling practices, such as specifying some inducements
- improving compliance – for example, introducing certain penalty notices for the first time
- adjusting fee collection annually for inflation
- changes to the way totalizator betting service providers notify the Minister.”
Aside from any substantive changes, the Draft Regulations also reflect the new approach of the Parliamentary Counsel to regulation drafting which focuses on improving clarity. As a consequence, multiple individual provisions in the current Regulations have been collapsed into a single provision and the structure of the Regulations has been changed to be more comprehensible.
The draft Betting and Racing Regulation 2022
Whilst the [Draft] Betting and Racing Regulation 2022 (NSW) largely remakes the Betting and Racing Regulation 2012 (NSW), it also proposes a few new changes.
Firstly, the Draft Regulation prescribes certain offences under the Betting and Racing Act 1998 (NSW) and the Draft Regulation as “penalty notice offences”, meaning that penalty infringement notices (PINs) may be issued for such offences. According to the Regulatory Impact Statement, the proposed change will promote “an escalating approach to issues of non-compliance or repeated non-compliance” which “begins at education support, then scales up to compliance notices, the issuing of PINs, then moving to prosecution or disciplinary action for the most serious of offences.” This means that “while the regulator may still opt to take serious breaches of the gaming laws to court, the ability to issue fines for infrequent, inadvertent, or lower-risk breaches provides a lower-cost and more flexible and efficient alternative to prosecution of wayward operators.”
Secondly, the Betting and Racing Act 1998 (NSW) allows for certain offers to be prescribed in a regulation as being offers that fall under the definition of an inducement; the Draft Regulation prescribes two types of offers as inducements:
- offers promoting free entry into a competition, conditional on having a betting account; and
- offers of ‘special odds’ where betting service providers offer increased odds above their standard pricing.
The former is considered an inducement as they induce non-members to open a betting account and may later “be exposed to both direct and indirect marketing of betting products that would otherwise be contrary to legislation.” The latter is considered an inducement as special offs may “encourage consumers to make bets or open accounts that they otherwise wouldn’t [and] encourage consumers to alter their gambling behaviour.”
The draft Totalizator Regulation 2022
Aside from changes to improve clarity, condense related concepts and apply current drafting practices, the Draft Regulation only makes one substantive change from the current regime.
Under the Totalizator Act 1997 (NSW), regulations may prescribe the type of changes in circumstances of which a licensee or contractor must notify the Minister. Schedule 1 of the Draft Regulation contains a list of what constitutes a “change of circumstances” and prescribes what particulars the Minister must be notified of when the change of circumstances arises. According to the Regulatory Impact Statement, the purpose of these prescriptions is to enhance oversight of conducting totalizator betting:
“The need for licensees to report these changes in circumstances provide an important means of monitoring the activities of licensees and regulating the proper conduct of this betting activity.”
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
[Draft] Betting and Racing Regulation 2022, [Draft] Totalizator Regulation 2022 and their regulatory impact statements available from TimeBase's Lawone website