National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering in Australia (the Framework)
All Australian state and territory governments, including Tasmania, endorsed the Framework in 2018. The Framework sets out minimum player protections for online wagering through a series of 10 measures. These measures will help gamblers take more control of their gambling activity, and prohibit conduct by providers that encourages problematic behaviour.
The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission (the Commission) was directed to implement the 10 harm minimisation measures outlined in the Framework, to complement Tasmania's existing measures. The first six harm minimisation measures have been implemented by all jurisdictions. The final four measures will be implemented in 2022.
Further details on the Framework can be found via the Australian Government's Department of Social Services web page.
What do the measures mean for consumers?
The Framework applies to Australian licensed wagering service providers who offer online and telephone betting and wagering. These measures support Tasmania's existing strong harm minimisation framework covering gambling operators licensed in Tasmania.
The Commission is implementing the national measures through changes to its various instruments. These documents are available on the Liquor and Gaming website:
What has been done so far?
The Australian Government's Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017 (Cth) prohibits the provision of credit to customers and the promotion of small amount credit contracts, also known as payday lending. In addition, the following measures now apply to Tasmania's online and telephone betting operators:
- Reducing timeframes to verify customer identity: Providers must verify their customers' identity within 72 hours of registration. Earlier identification will help to ensure underage people, self‑excluded customers and anyone using a false name do not access online wagering.
- Restrictions on inducements to open accounts: Providers cannot offer any credit, voucher, reward, or other benefit as an incentive to open an account or to refer another person to open an account. This protects consumers from incentive-based marketing and strengthens standards for direct marketing.
- Simplifying account closure: Providers must have a simple process for closing an online wagering account. The website and customer accounts pages must clearly display this information. When a customer closes an account, they cannot be sent any direct marketing material.
- Introduction of deposit limits: Providers must offer customers the option to set a limit before they start gambling. This pre-commitment standard will be further refined through trialling and testing that includes the design of messaging to encourage the uptake of pre‑commitment limits.
What else is to be done nationally?
The further measures scheduled for implementation in 2022 are:
- Provision of meaningful, user-friendly activity statements for online wagering;
- nationally consistent responsible gambling messaging, informed by research and trialling;
- staff training in the responsible conduct of online gambling; and
- a national self‑exclusion register for online wagering, administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Tasmania already has a secure, real-time and accessible exclusion scheme in place. The national register will integrate with the Tasmanian scheme to avoid duplication of registration for people who want to exclude from online gambling. More information about the current Tasmanian system, the Tasmanian Gambling Exclusion Scheme, is available here.