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Liquor & Gaming NSW Launches New Compliance Campaign

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Liquor & Gaming NSW (LGNSW) is launching a seasonal compliance campaign, which target under 18s who are illegally gambling and drinking in NSW casinos and their associated hospitality venues.

The compliance blitz comes as new penalties are introduced, which will for the first time see any under 18-year-old who is caught in a casino facing fines of $2200, 12 months bans or more and the loss of any winnings.

LGNSW Executive Director Regulatory Operations, Jane Lin, said casino security and LGNSW inspectors will be looking out for minors doing the wrong thing.

“If a minor is caught within a casino, we may exclude them from re-entering for a period from their 18th birthday, which means they won’t be able to visit until they’re at least 19, and they may be issued with a fine. Minors will also not be allowed to keep any winnings from gambling and will leave empty-handed,” Lin said.

“We have also reminded the casino operators of their obligations to prevent minors from entering casinos including by ensuring that casino staff are checking IDs where necessary.”

In NSW it is illegal for those aged under 18 to enter a casino or use false evidence of age, including fake IDs. It is also illegal for minors to buy, attempt to buy, or consume alcohol in a casino. Breaking these laws can result in the minor being fined up to $2200 per offence.

If an excluded person enters or remains in a casino, they face penalties including fines of up to $5500, imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

In one recent case, a 17-year-old used a fake ID to enter a casino and spent over one hour gambling. LGNSW issued the minor with penalty notices for entering a casino and using a fake ID to do so.

LGNSW also takes enforcement action against casino operators if they fail to prevent minors from entering a casino. One notable case involved a 12-year-old girl playing gaming machines and resulted in the casino being fined $60,000 by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority in 2020.

Australia

VGCCC Introduces New Rules for Wagering Account Statements

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has introduced new standards for how activity statements should be presented to wagering account holders. The new standards require providers to use plain English and avoid unnecessary vocabulary. The use of colours is limited to black and red to represent losses.

The VGCCC took the measure after finding inconsistencies in the way information was displayed on sample activity statements across different providers. Account holders must be able to see how much of their own money they have lost, with free and bonus bets excluded from the net loss figures. Net wins must be shown with stakes deducted. The gambling harm taglines that appear at the end of wagering ads must be displayed on each statement.

The new standards came into force on April 1. Failure to comply could result in a penalty of 60 penalty units, equivalent to AU$11,538.60 for each non-compliant activity statement issued.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “The days of inconsistent player activity statements are over. Wagering account holders will be better informed about their spending – and therefore better equipped to make informed decisions about their gambling – thanks to the clarity and fairness these changes bring.”

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Australia

Swifts Join the Fight Against Gambling Harm

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NSW Swifts and Giants have joined the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative.

Under the initiative, the Swifts and Giants will turn down sports betting sponsorship for the next two years, and will educate fans, players and staff about gambling harm in the community through messaging at home games and on digital and social media.

Reclaim the Game works with a total of 13 partners across 18 teams in six codes, including netball, AFL, A-League, cricket, NBL and NRL.

Since its launch in 2020, the initiative has reached millions of sports fans through more than 260 games, both on TV and in stadiums.

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said: “It is fantastic to see more NSW teams join Reclaim the Game and raise community awareness of harms linked to sports betting and gambling. These partnerships are a strong reminder that you don’t need to have a bet to show support for your team.

“Netball ranks among Australia’s top sports, boasting more than 1.2 million players nationwide and is also the top choice for female athletes.

“The new partnerships with netball come at the perfect time as community interest in women’s sport soars with record nationwide participation in the sport and the Diamonds reclaiming the World Cup in South Africa.

“Elite players are role models for young athletes and fans. The Reclaim the Game partnerships with NSW Swifts and Giants Netball will engage a vast young fan base, ensuring they are protected from betting ads and can develop positive associations with sport.”

Netball NSW CEO Tracey Scott said: “On behalf of Netball NSW, I am delighted to welcome Reclaim the Game to our family across the NSW Swifts and the Giants Netball.

“Alongside some of NSW’s other cherished sporting teams and codes, we are proud to join Reclaim the Game which looks to reconnect fans with their love of the games they follow.

“As the most popular community sport in the state, and the leading elite female code, we are committed to playing a role in educating our fans, participants and the broader community about the risks associated with gambling and the harm it can cause.

“The joy of our game is its theatre, especially at Super Netball level when the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball go head-to-head with the world’s best, and we always look to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone to immerse themselves into the excitement of our game.”

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Australia

VGCCC Fines Bookmaker MintBet $100,000 for Repeat Breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct

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The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has fined Victorian registered bookmaker MintBet $100,000 for repeated breaches of its Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct (Code) in relation to extended periods of gambling by a customer. The customer gambled through their online account with MintBet for 35 hours in a period of approximately 50 hours.

By the end of the customer’s betting period, they had placed 327 bets and lost $31,149.

The Commission found that MintBet did not stop accepting bets from the customer despite the customer displaying indicators of distress that may be related to problem gambling, as required by their Code.

MintBet closed the customer’s account only when the customer actively identified they were experiencing harm from their gambling.

The Commission also found that although MintBet had some systems in place to ensure vulnerable individuals do not experience a loss of control from their gambling, they were inadequate, also breaching a requirement of their Code.

In addition to issuing a fine, MintBet will be required to respond to the VGCCC about what improvements it will be making to its systems and processes. The VGCCC will consider MintBet’s response and determine whether further action might be necessary.

VGCCC Deputy CEO Scott May said: “Victorian gambling providers must comply with their responsible gambling codes of conduct. They exist to protect people from gambling harm. Even if accepting bets online, providers must monitor for and intervene when customers are displaying indicators of distress. Gambling for an extended period is a key indicator of distress that may indicate problem gambling. There are serious consequences for any gambling provider that fails to comply with their own responsible gambling code of conduct. We won’t tolerate it.”

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