Clubs Australia today welcomed the Federal Government’s response to the O’Farrell review into the Interactive Gambling Act.
The report’s recommendations are sensible, and in some cases, overdue measures that will help crack down on the unacceptable practices of illegal operators and corporate cowboys.
Clubs Australia Executive Director Anthony Ball said the measures would create a safer online environment for Australians.
“We all know that the internet today is in no way comparable to the online environment that existed when the Interactive Gambling Act was introduced 16 years ago,” he said.
“The fact is that corporate bookmakers and illegal offshore operators have been running riot in this space for too long.
“That’s why we welcome today’s commitment by the Government to strengthen and amend the Act and regulations around online gambling.
“Importantly, these changes will for the first time see consumer protections put in place in the online gambling environment.
“These measures will also see the implementation of some of the strong harm-minimisation measures that exist in land-based gambling environments, such as a ban on credit betting and a linked self-exclusion network.
“Clubs Australia welcomes these sensible measures that will protect Australians and we call on online operators to adopt these standards without delay.”
Clubs Australia also welcomed the Government’s commitment to strengthening the enforcement powers of the Australian Communications and Media Authority in order to prevent Australians being targeted by illegal offshore websites.
“When it was introduced, the Interactive Gambling Act made it illegal for overseas online gambling operators to target Australians,” Mr Ball said.
“However to this day there have been no prosecutions despite the fact that Australians spend over $1 billion through sites operated by dodgy illegal operators.”