Saturday, 21 October 2017
Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter August 2017
Date : 09 August 2017
Author/s : Justine Munsie, Jamie Nettleton, Richard Keegan, Cate Sendall
Type : Publication
 

 

Overview

 

Welcome to the August 2017 edition of Addisons Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter. This Newsletter is produced in advance of the 2017 Australasian Gaming Expo and the further consideration by the Australian Senate of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill which, if passed, will represent the most significant change to Australia’s regulatory regime related to online gambling since the law came into force in 2001.


Accordingly, this Newsletter focusses on issues relating to interactive gambling and the more restrictive regulatory regime that will exist in Australia in relation to online gambling.


Many of the recent developments that have occurred in 2017 are set out in this Newsletter and include:

 

a)

A summary of the effect of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill and its implications for offshore online gambling operators; see Update on the Australian Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 – What Happens Now and What Does it Mean for Offshore Online Gambling Operators Looking to Australia?

b)

The new GST regime that applies to the offshore supply of digital services to Australian consumers, which came into effect on 1 July and the manner in which it applies to the online gambling sector; see Devil in the Detail: Australia’s GST Laws Overhauled to Apply to the Offshore Supply of Digital Products and Services to Australian Consumers from 1 July 2017 – What Does this Mean for the Offshore Online Gambling Industry?

c)

The introduction of a point of consumption tax for wagering operators.  As highlighted in an article that appeared in the NT News on Friday 4 August , the point of consumption tax that came into effect in South Australia, and may come into effect in other Australian State and Territories on 1 July 2017, will have significant economic implications for Australia’s sports bookmaking sector; see Pay Where You Play: Introduction in Australia of a Point of Consumption Tax for Wagering Operators.

d)

Increased restrictions in respect of the broadcast of gambling advertisements during live sports broadcasts. Earlier this year, the Australian Government announced a series of measures to address concerns that have been expressed for some time about the prevalence of gambling advertising during sports broadcasts.  With the support of the media and the licensed online sports bookmakers, a number of restrictions will be brought into effect: see The Odds are in Favour of Prohibiting Gambling Advertisements During Live Sports Broadcasts.

e)

As part of the review of Australia’s regulatory regime relating to online gaming, the federal Government announced its intention to introduce harmonised regulations relating to the consumer protections that should be afforded to consumers of online wagering services. This is contemplated in The National Consumer Protection Framework: An Analysis of the Regulatory Impact Statement and its Effect on Australian Online Wagering.

 

We also highlight in the Newsletter two growth areas in the Australian gambling sector, including:

 

i.

Secondary lotteries, see The Lottoland Effect: The Rise and Risk of Secondary Lotteries in Australia.

ii.

Binary options, see Branching out into Binary Options? You Might Have Double Trouble.


There have been a considerable number of other developments in the gambling sector other than in relation to online gambling. For example:

 

  • The proposed merger between Tabcorp and Tatts Group has been the subject of a determination by the Australian Competition Tribunal.  The decision of the Tribunal to grant authorisation to a proposed merger is the subject of applications to the Federal Court (to be heard later this month) for review by each of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and CrownBet.
    Even though there is some doubt whether the decision of the Federal Court will be handed down in 2017, Tabcorp has announced recently that it is proceeding to take steps to implement the merger, on the basis that the Tribunal’s decision is not reversed. Despite this, there remains a level of uncertainty whether the merger will be completed.
  • The Queensland Government announced on 1 August that the proposal to construct a $3 billion casino on the Gold Coast had been rejected.  This followed submissions by ASF Consortium to construct a high rise casino and hotel development following a joint initiative of the Queensland Government and the Council of the City of the Gold Coast that sought investment from the private sector to develop tourist infrastructure on the Gold Coast.  The announcement by the Queensland Government was not expected, with some commentators suggesting that it would have negative consequences for the Queensland Government’s proposals to seek expressions of interest for the development of casinos in other parts of Queensland.
  • The conviction of various Crown Resorts personnel of gambling offences in a Chinese Court following their arrest by the Chinese authorities in 2016.  These arrests were followed by announcements by Crown Resorts to focus their businesses on their Australian casino interests and has also had a significant adverse impact on their financial results due to the decrease in VIP visitors from overseas.
  • The fine of $45,000,000 imposed on Tabcorp in respect of anti-money laundering offences following a prosecution brought by AUSTRAC.


We trust you will enjoy this edition of our Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter.


If you have any queries or wish to discuss any of the matters set out in this Newsletter or otherwise relating to gambling regulation in Australia or elsewhere, please do not hesitate to contact any of Addisons Media and Gaming Team.

 


1. http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/opinion/high-stakes-for-betting-industry/news-story/dde4eb1f7ab433fb85fec3efccae2d3a

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