Australian betting operators are facing stricter regulatory enforcement of player protection standards, including measures affecting the payments journey, if requirements aren’t met.
The Australian federal government, as well as the authorities of the country’s two largest states of New South Wales and Victoria, have been embarking on a safer gambling crusade which has seen both enforcement actions and drafting of new regulations.
To hear some industry perspective, Payment Expert and SBC News jointly reached out to Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), a trade body representing several high profile Australian licence holders including Sportsbet, bet365, Betfair, Entain, Unibet and Pointsbet.
Specifically, the RWA was asked about the recent decision by the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) ordering Tabcorp to adopt cashless payments at 70% of its retail betting terminals in the state due to an underage bettor repeatedly betting in its facilities.
Kai Cantwell, RWA CEO, responded: “It is absolutely unacceptable that any underage Australian is gambling, which is why online wagering providers verify the age and identity of all customers before they can make a transaction.
“This is also an important mechanism to mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks.”
It is important to note that Tabcorp is not a member of the RWA, but nonetheless the association has emphasised the importance of meeting responsible gambling standards across the whole of the industry.
As noted, Australia’s gambling regulations are currently at a crossroads, with the industry having fallen into the legislative crosshairs of both federal and state policymakers.
At the national level, the government of Anthony Albanese is currently implementing the 31 recommendations for reform made by a parliamentary inquiry into gambling.
Federal gambling reform has included the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023, which came into force in December 2023, banning the use of credit cards for all gambling payments except lotteries.
Commenting at the time, the RWA’s Cantwell stated that it was ‘disappointing’ that lotteries and keno had been excluded from the ban, due to the products being the most common form of gambling in Australia.
In the RWA’s latest engagement with PE and SBC, Cantwell asserted: “RWA welcomes sensible regulatory measures that bring other forms of gambling up to the standard that online wagering providers already operate on.”