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Queensland Parliament Passes New Laws Restricting Cash Gambling at Casinos

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The Queensland Parliament has passed new laws restricting cash gambling at casinos. New laws will increase regulatory scrutiny and enhance the integrity of Queensland casinos, with a focus on reducing gambling harm.

The reforms enable the government to implement the remaining recommendations of the Review of the Queensland operations of The Star Entertainment Group by the Honourable Robert Gotterson AO KC.

It marks the second raft of substantial legislative changes to the Casino Control Act 1982 in the past two years.

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Under the legislation, casinos will be required to:

  • implement mandatory carded play for certain games and activities, with restrictions on the use of cash, as well as mandatory pre-commitment, with time limits and enforced player breaks
  • issue player cards and collect information relating to play and provide certain de-identified data to the regulator
  • comply with an enforceable code of conduct to be defined in a regulation
  • pay a supervision levy to the government to cover the costs of casino regulation and to fund harm minimisation programs
  • take steps to exclude people who are banned from interstate casinos by an interstate police commissioner.

The legislation increases regulatory scrutiny, requiring Queensland casinos to undergo a periodic review of their operations and suitability at least every five years. Certain outdated and potentially stigmatising language was also removed from the legislation.

The reforms also enhance and modernise casino inspectorate powers, by updating the way inspectors may request information and allowing them to interview minors and excluded persons on casino premises (if the minor or excluded person is found on the premises).

The new laws represent the second set of substantial reforms to the Casino Control Act in the past two years.

Previous reforms implemented by the government in 2022 removed barriers to disciplinary action and ensure that meaningful penalties could be levelled against casinos where warranted.

The earlier reforms, which allowed government to fine casino entities up to $100 million and appoint a special manager to oversee their operations, were key in disciplinary action taken against The Star Entertainment Group in December 2022.

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Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“Queenslanders have the right to expect casinos are being operated lawfully and in a way that minimises harm.

“The new laws will help ensure Queensland casinos operate with integrity and that they have measures in place to prevent gambling harm and combat money laundering.

“Importantly, these reforms pave the way to implementing the remaining recommendations of the Gotterson Review, with the government now focused on developing the regulations required to enforce these reforms.”

The post Queensland Parliament Passes New Laws Restricting Cash Gambling at Casinos appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Australia

VGCCC Introduces New Rules for Wagering Account Statements

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has introduced new standards for how activity statements should be presented to wagering account holders. The new standards require providers to use plain English and avoid unnecessary vocabulary. The use of colours is limited to black and red to represent losses.

The VGCCC took the measure after finding inconsistencies in the way information was displayed on sample activity statements across different providers. Account holders must be able to see how much of their own money they have lost, with free and bonus bets excluded from the net loss figures. Net wins must be shown with stakes deducted. The gambling harm taglines that appear at the end of wagering ads must be displayed on each statement.

The new standards came into force on April 1. Failure to comply could result in a penalty of 60 penalty units, equivalent to AU$11,538.60 for each non-compliant activity statement issued.

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VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “The days of inconsistent player activity statements are over. Wagering account holders will be better informed about their spending – and therefore better equipped to make informed decisions about their gambling – thanks to the clarity and fairness these changes bring.”

The post VGCCC Introduces New Rules for Wagering Account Statements appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Australia

Swifts Join the Fight Against Gambling Harm

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NSW Swifts and Giants have joined the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative.

Under the initiative, the Swifts and Giants will turn down sports betting sponsorship for the next two years, and will educate fans, players and staff about gambling harm in the community through messaging at home games and on digital and social media.

Reclaim the Game works with a total of 13 partners across 18 teams in six codes, including netball, AFL, A-League, cricket, NBL and NRL.

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Since its launch in 2020, the initiative has reached millions of sports fans through more than 260 games, both on TV and in stadiums.

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said: “It is fantastic to see more NSW teams join Reclaim the Game and raise community awareness of harms linked to sports betting and gambling. These partnerships are a strong reminder that you don’t need to have a bet to show support for your team.

“Netball ranks among Australia’s top sports, boasting more than 1.2 million players nationwide and is also the top choice for female athletes.

“The new partnerships with netball come at the perfect time as community interest in women’s sport soars with record nationwide participation in the sport and the Diamonds reclaiming the World Cup in South Africa.

“Elite players are role models for young athletes and fans. The Reclaim the Game partnerships with NSW Swifts and Giants Netball will engage a vast young fan base, ensuring they are protected from betting ads and can develop positive associations with sport.”

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Netball NSW CEO Tracey Scott said: “On behalf of Netball NSW, I am delighted to welcome Reclaim the Game to our family across the NSW Swifts and the Giants Netball.

“Alongside some of NSW’s other cherished sporting teams and codes, we are proud to join Reclaim the Game which looks to reconnect fans with their love of the games they follow.

“As the most popular community sport in the state, and the leading elite female code, we are committed to playing a role in educating our fans, participants and the broader community about the risks associated with gambling and the harm it can cause.

“The joy of our game is its theatre, especially at Super Netball level when the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball go head-to-head with the world’s best, and we always look to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone to immerse themselves into the excitement of our game.”

The post Swifts Join the Fight Against Gambling Harm appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Australia

VGCCC Fines Bookmaker MintBet $100,000 for Repeat Breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined Victorian registered bookmaker MintBet $100,000 for repeated breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct (Code) in relation to extended periods of gambling by a customer. The customer gambled through their online account with MintBet for 35 hours in a period of approximately 50 hours.

By the end of the customer’s betting period, they had placed 327 bets and lost $31,149.

The Commission found that MintBet did not stop accepting bets from the customer despite the customer displaying indicators of distress that may be related to problem gambling, as required by their Code.

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MintBet closed the customer’s account only when the customer actively identified they were experiencing harm from their gambling.

The Commission also found that although MintBet had some systems in place to ensure vulnerable individuals do not experience a loss of control from their gambling, they were inadequate, also breaching a requirement of their Code.

In addition to issuing a fine, MintBet will be required to respond to the VGCCC about what improvements it will be making to its systems and processes. The VGCCC will consider MintBet’s response and determine whether further action might be necessary.

VGCCC Deputy CEO Scott May said: “Victorian gambling providers must comply with their responsible gambling codes of conduct. They exist to protect people from gambling harm. Even if accepting bets online, providers must monitor for and intervene when customers are displaying indicators of distress. Gambling for an extended period is a key indicator of distress that may indicate problem gambling. There are serious consequences for any gambling provider that fails to comply with their own responsible gambling code of conduct. We won’t tolerate it.”

The post VGCCC Fines Bookmaker MintBet $100,000 for Repeat Breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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