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CALLS FOR ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO REVIEW ACT

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The NSW Government is calling for the entertainment industry to review the Entertainment Industry Act 2013 and ensure it is still fit for purpose and achieving its intended objectives.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Natasha Mann said the NSW Government wanted to ensure the regulatory framework for the entertainment industry was up to date and still relevant for the sector.

“We’re seeking feedback from all parties – this includes performers, lawyers, managers, venue operators and any other industry representatives who would like to have their say,” Ms Mann said.

“The past couple of years have been difficult, with the COVID pandemic having a major impact on the State’s nightlife, with performers and venues forced to cancel entertainment.”

Industry stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback which will improve regulation and decide if any changes can be made to ensure legislation achieves objectives and operates effectively.

“We have witnessed pivotal changes to the entertainment industry, not only prompted by the pandemic but the introduction of new technologies continues to shape how entertainment is consumed and delivered,” Ms Mann said.

“A review of the Act is essential to continue to protect and support the industry and to ensure it’s up to date, relevant and reflects the changes to the entertainment sector.”

NSW Fair Trading administers the Act, which establishes a code of conduct for the entertainment sector and provides dispute resolution for issues arising between performers and industry representatives.

To have your say on the Entertainment Industry Act, visit: www.haveyoursay.nsw.gov.au/entertainment-industry-act

The consultation is open until 5pm Thursday, 29 September 2022.

Compliance Updates

Breaking News: New £2 maximum stake for under 25s playing online slots in the UK

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Breaking News: New £2 maximum stake for under 25s playing online slots in the UK
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  • Stake limits for online slot games introduced for the first time in September in landmark moment for regulation of online gambling
  • Maximum £2 stake for 18 to 24-year-olds for online slot games to be introduced
  • £5 limit for adults aged 25 and over brings stakes in-line with casinos

Easily accessible online slot games are one of the most addictive forms of gambling, and can be associated with large losses, long sessions, and binge play. Unlike land-based gaming machines, such as in casinos, they have no statutory stake limits.

To counter the increased risk of significant harm and life-changing losses from online slot games, the Government will introduce a £5 stake limit for adults aged 25 and over.

Responding to evidence, a lower level stake limit for young adults aged 18-24 years old will be set at £2 per spin. This age group has the highest average problem gambling score of any group, as well as lower disposable income, ongoing neurological development impacting risk perception and common life stage factors like managing money for the first time. The evidence also points to a stronger link between gambling related harm and suicide among young adults.

The decision follows a 10-week consultation period in which the majority of respondents agreed with the gambling white paper proposal to introduce statutory limits for online slot games to help reduce the risk of gambling harm. Consultation responses included views from industry, academics, treatment providers and individuals.

Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Although millions of people gamble safely every single day, the evidence shows that there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games.

We also know that young adults can be more vulnerable when it comes to gambling related harms, which is why we committed to addressing both of these issues in our white paper.

The growing popularity of online gambling is clear to see, so this announcement will level the playing field with the land-based sector and is the next step in a host of measures being introduced this year that will protect people from gambling harms.”

Evidence from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities shows that young adults can be particularly vulnerable to gambling related harm, with under 25s having the highest average problem gambling score of any age group.

NHS survey figures also show that there is a problem gambling rate of 8.7 per cent for online gambling on slots, casino or bingo games, one of the highest rates across gambling activities.

CEO of GambleAware Zoë Osmond said: “We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce lower online stake limits for under 25s as an important mechanism to protect young people. Our research shows a concerning trend with this age group experiencing an increase in harm arising from gambling and online slots are very high-risk products.

As we continue our work to tackle this growing public health issue, we will collaborate with the Government and others across the gambling harms sector to ensure there are no missed opportunities when it comes to the introduction of robust preventative measures, including new regulations such as these.”

The limits will come into force in September this year, following secondary legislation. There will be a six week transition period for operators to become compliant with the general £5 stake limit rules, followed by a further six weeks for the development of any necessary technical solutions to ensure operators are fully compliant with the lower stake limit of £2 for young adults aged 18-24.

Although most people gamble without issue, the restrictions introduced today are just some of the proposals set out in the Government’s white paper to modernise the gambling sector and make it fit for the digital age.

This includes the introduction of a statutory levy for research, prevention and treatment, as well as financial risk checks designed to prevent catastrophic, life-changing losses. The Gambling Commission and the Government continue to listen to concerns from campaigners, the wider public, and both the gambling and horse racing industries as part of the consultation process on these checks. The Gambling Commission continues to refine its approach on the design to achieve the right balance between protections and freedoms.

As well as introducing measures to protect people from gambling related harm, the white paper package contains proposals that will support the land-based gambling industry to thrive. The industry supports thousands of jobs across the country and the Government has been clear it does not want to harm its success.

Responses to the wider white paper measures will be published soon.

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Compliance Updates

UK trade association Bacta meet with Labour Party candidates ahead of General Election

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Bacta’s preparations for the next UK General Election continue at a pace with George McGregor Executive Director – Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Communications, recently attending a meeting with North West England Labour Party candidates including Patrick Hurley (Southport), Michelle Scrogham (Barrow & Furness), and Chris Webb (Blackpool South).

 The meeting which was part of a wider Tourism Alliance programme covered a broad range of tourism related issues including support for the seaside sector, the contribution made by the amusements industry to seaside economies and the need to increase stake and prize levels on gaming machines.

Reflecting on the initiative George McGregor said: “We know there will be a General Election this year and it is a really opportune time to engage with prospective parliamentary candidates who are in campaigning mode.

“The Labour candidates that I met with are all likely to be elected MPs according to current opinion polls. The meeting was a great opportunity to forge links ahead of the General Election, outline what our industry contributes to economies throughout the country and explain the unique set of challenges that it faces not least its inability to increase prices due to stake and prize regulations.

Bacta President John Bollom added: “The trade association has been preparing for a General Election for some time and the recent meeting with prospective Labour MPs follows the EAG attendance of Labour Peer Lord McNicol of West Kilbride who became the first politician to open an edition of EAG/ATEI since Tim Sainsbury MP in 1994.

“Prior to that November’s Bacta Convention featured the Minister for Gambling The Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP who made a key note speech as well as Phillip Davies the Conservative MP for Shipley.”

He continued: “Political engagement is a key part of the comprehensive package of services we provide Bacta members and I believe that thanks to the endeavours of the trade association as well as those of member organisations who have opened their doors to their constituency MPs that the industry’s political stock has rarely been higher.”

 

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Compliance Updates

Cyprus National Betting Authority Launches National Self-Exclusion Platform

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The Cyprus National Betting Authority during a press conference on February 20, 2024, announced the launch of the National Self-Exclusion Platform (NSEP). This strategic initiative is part of the Authority’s commitment of safeguarding players and the public, as outlined in its Safer Gambling Strategy 2022-25.

The NSEP facilitates players to control their betting activities and opt for self-exclusion, either temporarily or indefinitely, from all online bookmakers who are licensed in the Republic of Cyprus. The player acknowledges that their betting activity has brought gambling related harm on their life, hence, they may use the self-exclusion tool for a more effective control of their betting activity. During the self-exclusion period, the player has access to their current account only for the purpose of withdrawing their deposits and cannot create a new account in a licenced bookmaker’s website.

Registration on the platform is free, simple and straightforward, enabling the player to set their self-exclusion across all betting service providers by registering at https://www.exclusion.cy/. Specifically, players have the flexibility to choose between temporary self-exclusion, long period self-exclusion or for an indefinite time.

During the press conference, Ms. Ioanna Fiakkou, President of the NBA, expressed her satisfaction with the platform’s launch, underscoring its significance as “a robust tool for every player, designed to promote safer betting behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable groups of people.”

“The development of the National Self-Exclusion Platform underscores the NBA’s dedication to player protection and the establishment of a sustainable and fair betting sector. The platform at this point offers self-exclusion from online betting service providers, but its operation is dynamic and poised to integrate additional functionalities. Thus, we extend a public invitation to all stakeholders to join our efforts for safeguarding society and include specific groups such as athletes in the platform’s operations, in collaboration with relevant federations and governmental bodies, to join the platform. Through this collaborative effort, we aim to fortify the fight against match-fixing and enhance transparency in sports, aligning with key objectives outlined in the Authority’s strategic framework. We are particularly satisfied to witness the realization of another significant milestone, as we advance towards achieving the goals set forth in the Safer Gambling Strategy, reinforcing protective measures for the public and fostering the industry’s sustainability in the right direction,” Ms. Fiakkou said.

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