The Australian gambling industry pocketed $24 billion dollars in 2017, largely from Australians who can least afford it. A complacent attitude to the gambling industry has resulted in few marketing, planning or technology constraints.
It’s time to tackle one of Australia’s biggest causes of inequality and hardship.
Our plan for reducing commercial gambling harm
- Ban gambling advertisements on platforms including free-to-air TV and radio, paid streaming services, social media & external billboard-type advertising. Consider additional measures to strongly discourage overseas-based media platforms displaying advertisements for gambling that allow Australian gambling. This could include fines for Australian businesses using those platforms. (End Gambling Ads)
- Transfer the responsibility for casino regulation to the federal government and establish a National Casino Regulator and Online Gaming Ombudsman, as recommended by the Bergin Report . Australia is a hot spot for global money laundering, much of it occurring in casinos. (The Mandarin and The Guardian, Feb 2021)
- Enforce current money-laundering laws, require casinos to implement programs, training and controls with independent testing for compliance.
- Ban cash, cryptocurrency, or other anonymous payment mechanisms to place bets and to receive winnings using any digital platform or electronic gaming device, and ban such transactions over designated thresholds for other forms of gambling.
- All gambling transactions to be categorised on bank statements as ‘gambling or wagering’ in order to provide feedback to individuals on their transactions.
- Extend the current online National Self-Exclusion Register to include all forms of gaming and provide options for self-exclusion registration with banks in addition to betting agencies. Note that some banks allow gambling blocks including:
- Bank of Melbourne (credit cards only)
- Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac (debit and credit cards)
- For children under 18:
- Enforce strict proof of age before entering gaming venues
- Legislate against the use of microtransactions in online games available to children
- Ensure that understanding of the harms of gambling is part of the curriculum in personal development, health and physical education in all high schools
- Provide focussed support for children whose parent has been identified as a problem gambler and the partners or spouses of problem gamblers.
- Reform rules around political campaign donations and spending – see our Accountability platform.
These measures can be drafted to exclude small-bet charity fund raising activities such as raffles.
How and why the Federal Government needs to act
- End Gambling Ads (Alliance for Gambling Reform)
- The Pokies Play You (Alliance for Gambling Reform)
- Self-Exclusion: What it is, and How it Works (Australian Gambling)
- 2019 Gambling Reforms (DSS)
- Australia is a hot spot for global money laundering. (The Mandarin, Feb 2021)
- Study finds online gambling doubled in past decade (Focus Asia Pacific, Oct 2021)
- Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia (GambleAware, NSW Government)
- Extent of, and children and young people’s exposure to, gambling advertising in sport and non-sport TV (Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Oct 2019)
- Plans to cut Crown pokie players’ losses on ice amid feasibility fears (The Age, Jan 2022)
- ‘The deceit, the crime, the destroyed lives’: How Australia lost its gamble on casinos (The Age, Apr 2022)
- Credit card ban looking likely (Pokies Play You, September 2021)