- Credit lines will be banned under sweeping reform of online gaming laws
- Changes aim to protect gamblers and promote safer gaming practices
Online casino players in Australia will no longer be allowed access to credit following the introduction of a government ban. Human Services Minister, Alan Tudge released a statement announcing the change in law, along with a series of upcoming initiatives such as the national self-exclusion register.
“There needs to be stronger action in relation to the offering of inducements to bet or to bet more frequently,” said Tudge.
Key legal changes for online gambling services
If the online industry is not strictly regulated, it is easy for patrons to switch between brands and find access to the free credit they want – whether they can cover the cost or not. The new laws will prevent credit being issued to any player, thereby ensuring that no operator or player can skirt the rules.
The government is also introducing a national self-exclusion register, designed to help bettors with problems to kick the habit. The register will cover all major betting outlets, and will adopt a blanket cover policy – that is, any player self-excluding from one venue is cutting themselves off from all outlets.
This is proven to be effective in stopping short-term problem gambling and in treating a long-term addiction.
What about offline credit betting?
Bookmakers have already spoken out about the proposed legislation, although lawmakers have clarified that on-course services are not currently affected by the changes. It was previously reported in Australia that all credit betting would be included in the ban – which would have severely harmed phone betting services at local racetracks. According to a statement released by the office of MP Tudge, the law as it stands will only tackle “large corporate bookmakers”.
At first glance – certainly on the information we have – this is a positive move by the Australian Government. At casinos, as with other walks of life, there is a tendency for some to see credit as simply ‘free money’. It’s an attitude that can, unfortunately sometimes end with less that positive results. Of course, not everyone that uses credit becomes a problem gambler and there may be those that believe the system doesn’t changing. What will be harder to deny is that, even if the introduction helps a few people, it will be an issue that is well worth addressing. If you’re reading this and you’re not an Australian punter then we hope this will raise your awareness of any issues around credit betting. Remember that responsible gambling doesn’t just mean how you play, it is a mindset. Be sure to understand any credit offers from online casinos and to fully know what is expected from you when using the system.
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