NSW to ban enhanced odds and welcome offers

The New South Wales government has proposed new betting and racing legislation, which would class special odds and welcome offers as banned inducements to gamble.

The proposed Betting and Racing legislation clarifies that gambling advertising must not encourage people to gamble. Under these rules, welcome offers that require users to create an account are banned, with the Liquor and Gaming Authority deeming these as presenting “new opportunities for gambling-related harm”.

Similarly, the law would also ban “special odds” for similar reasons.

In addition, operators would no longer be able t broadcast advertisements during certain sporting events.

Corporations can receive a fine of up to AUS$15,000 for violating these rules, while individuals can receive a fine of AUS$5,500.

The Liquor and Gaming Authority will have the authority to judge whether advertising is considered to violate this ban.

The draft proposal also defines aspects of the regulation that the 2012 edition did not – including the term sports controlling body.

Kevin Anderson, the Minister responsible for liquor, gaming and racing legislation, will be able to approve applications to be a sports controlling body for a sporting event.

Sports controlling bodies will also have to give the Minister notice of any changes in circumstances.

Meanwhile, a draft Totalizator Regulation legislation approves the distribution of gambling information brochures and displaying notices related to counselling services in any area of a premises that offers totalizator betting.

Gambling in New South Wales is currently regulated by the Betting and Racing Act 1998 and the Betting and Racing Regulation 2012, along with the Totalizator Act 1997 and the Totalizator Regulation 2012.

The regulations will expire on 1 September 2022. If successful, the new regulations – titled the Betting and Racing Regulation 2022 and the Totalizator Regulation 2022 – will support both Acts.

These were developed by the New South Wales Liquor and Gaming Authority, and are set to take effect when the prior regulations expire.

A public consultation will allow industry stakeholders to submit feedback on any element of the proposed regulations through the Have Your Say website.

Participants can take part in the consultation by completing an online survey, providing a written response on the website or through post.

The closing date for submissions to the public consultation is 22 June 2022. Any key developments that may come as a result of the consultation will be announced after this date.

“A large proportion of the community derive great pleasure from wagering and enjoy placing a bet without it becoming a problem,” said Anthony Keon, CEO of hospitality and racing. “The protections in the regulations not only create sustainability for the industry, but certainty for the community that licensees are fit to conduct gambling, that penalties are fair and proportionate and that there is communication and engagement with people who do experience gambling harms.”

“Essentially, the regulations support the legislation and are there to set the standards around the conduct of betting service providers so punters can freely pursue wagering as a safe form of leisure and entertainment.”

Author: Raymond Fleming