Welcome to the December 2018 edition of the Addisons Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter.
This newsletter contains Focus Papers published recently by Addisons concerning various issues relating to gambling regulation in Australia and recent developments that are likely to have an impact on the gambling sector during 2019.
The papers cover the following key developments:
- The long awaited National Consumer Protection Framework was announced on 16 December by The Hon. Paul Fletcher, the Minister for Families and Social Services. This framework (commonly known as the NCPF) reflects the agreement reached between the relevant ministers of the Australian Federal Government and all Australian States and Territories relating to various measures affecting the Australian licensed wagering sector. Many of these measures were recommended in the O’Farrell Review that was conducted in 2015 and is referred to in our previous newsletters and focus papers. Further details are in ‘National Consumer Protection Framework: What does this mean for Australian Online Licensed Wagering Operators?’.
- The introduction of modernised gambling legislation in NSW relating to various “soft” gambling products, such as trade promotions, sweepstakes and raffles. The Community Gaming Act was passed by the New South Wales Parliament in November 2018 and will come into force in 2019. This Act replaces the Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901 which was long overdue for repeal, having been passed in the pre-Internet era and containing a number of unclear provisions.
It is hoped that the new Consumer Gaming Act (and the Regulations, which have not yet been released) will provide clarity to businesses conducting trade promotions and other soft gambling products in New South Wales – see ‘What is the Chance the Game has Changed? New South Wales Broadens the Regulatory Framework for Games of Chance’.
- The report of the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee in respect of the use of loot boxes in video games has now been released. The report recommends that further research should be conducted by the Australian Government in respect of these features of video games and any similarities they bear to gambling products (if any) – this is consistent with the approach being taken in the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which are initiating similar reviews – see ‘Australian Loot Box Inquiry – Harmless Gameplay Enhancement or Predatory Gambling Scheme?’.
- As part of the continued enforcement efforts being taken by the Australian Government towards the activities of offshore wagering operators taking bets from Australians, consideration is being given to implementing measures which would require ISPs to restrict access by Australians to websites of overseas online wagering operators.
Although this is currently the subject of a confidential industry review, it is quite likely that the issue will be given further consideration in the course of 2019 – see ‘Australian Government Proposes Scheme to Block Illegal Offshore Wagering Websites’.
- Finally, various Australian States and Territories have now introduced legislative provisions imposing taxes commonly known as the Point of Consumption (or POC) Tax, on licensed Australian wagering operators providing betting services to residents of that particular state. Details of the relevant statutory provisions are summarised in ‘A State of Flux: Australia’s Point of Consumption Tax – Implications for Wagering Operators’.
We would like to refer you to Addisons Gambling & Gaming Law showcase page on LinkedIn where regular updates appear in relation to the latest developments in gambling law in Australia and events in which members of our team are involved.
You will be able to find copies of previous issues of our Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletters, as well as other Focus Papers on, our LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/addisons-gambling-law
We hope you enjoy this edition of our Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter. If you have any queries relating to the issues discussed in this newsletter or you wish to discuss any of these matters, please do not hesitate to contact any member of Addisons Media and Gaming team.