International association critical of Australia’s sports gambling market

by Ethan Anderson Last Updated
Australia wants stricter gambling website access

Australia could do more to create a safer sports gambling market.

That’s the view of the International Betting Integrity Association, which said that Australia has existing guidelines to keep corruption and match fixing out of sports, but it could be better.

Calvin Ayre reports IBIA is making suggestions for ways to improve Australia’s Sports Wagering Scheme framework, and it is up to Aussie regulators to decide whether or not to take the input on board.

The IBIA participated in an open call by gaming regulators in Australia to review the ASWS.

It was made so the government could receive feedback on its sports integrity initiatives.

IBIA recommends the removal of in-play betting restrictions, which it asserts will help protect the legal sports gambling market and further push out black market operators.

Previous reports have indicated underground gambling in the country is worth as much as A$2 billion.

Australian lawmakers and gaming regulators are considering the launch of a new regulatory body to oversee sports gambling.

Sport Integrity Australia would be used as a centralised data collection agency for all the country’s syndicated professional sports and would implement an integrity task force to monitor all sports wagers.

The creation of SIA came as part of a large review of Australia’s gambling scene.

As the name suggests, the 2018 Wood Review was presented two years ago and the IBIA feels Australia hasn’t done enough to implement the changes it recommended.

“It is particularly disappointed the government has not supported the Wood Review’s recommendation on in-play betting to properly address the integrity challenges presented by offshore betting, notably unregulated or poorly regulated Asian betting operators.

“The absence of an effective and coherent policy on in-play betting is detrimental to the regulated market.”

The IBIA also believes the SIA may not be necessary and wants the government to prove its value.

Gambling advertising to be removed from UK screens

The United Kingdom’s Betting and Gaming Council said all its members had voluntarily agreed to remove all forms of advertising for at least the next six weeks.

Bandt reported in April that the BGC, which represents betting shops, online betting and gaming, bingo and casinos, said the move would result in the removal of half of all product advertising on television and radio.

The move comes after the industry was blamed for exploiting vulnerable people during lockdown.

Earlier this month, a group of 20 British MPs signed a letter calling for curbs on gambling, including a moratorium on advertising.

BGC’s chief executive Michael Dugher said: “We are determined to do everything we can to protect customers potentially at risk during this lockdown period and beyond.”

He added that all operators will “look to implement this change as rapidly as possible but no later than Thursday, May 7.”

In Australia, following the postponement of major sports leagues such as the AFL and NRL, gamblers have reportedly moved into riskier pursuits, such as online casino games.

A recent Survation poll into the gambling habits of Australians during coronavirus found that regular gamblers said they were gambling more.

A quarter of those who typically bet at least once a week said they were still doing so, while 28 per cent had increased their activity and 11 per cent said they were gambling a lot more.

The survey of 1000 gamblers also found that 41 per cent of people who bet had opened a new online account since the pandemic took hold.

And more than a third of regular gamblers believed they were either spending too much on the habit, or were fast developing an addiction.

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