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Charlotte Wilson: Key Takeaways from Regulating The Game In Sydney

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The action-packed event, which took place from March 7th to March 11th, was a huge success. The event included multiple partners and key industry players who provided invaluable insights for the gambling regulation. 

The collaboration between the International Center for Gaming Law (ICGR) and the prestigious Senet body—gambling Australia’s law, regulatory, and compliance body—set the precedent and provided training on cutting-edge gambling regulatory frameworks suited to the dynamic modern gambling landscape. 

Australia-Casino journalist Charlotte Wilson closely followed the Sydney event and identified a wide range of gambling regulation issues raised by different experts. According to Charlotte, the training provided a concise road map for improving the gaming environment in order to ensure guaranteed safety and long-term gambling practices that adhere to national and international legal frameworks. Below is a summary of the event’s proceedings as recorded by Charlotte Wilson.

“Regulating The Game” Intensive Training Program

According to the event organizers, the main goal of the event was to provide intensive training. The mission is to significantly improve key players’ sector knowledge, organizational capabilities in the Australian gambling market, and generate discourse for best practices in the current regulatory framework. The hope is to foster progressive thinking to secure the future of the rapidly growing industry.

The five-day event, in particular, challenged the existing status quo in the local gambling industry. Contesting the current operational models used by the majority of providers from an outsider’s perspective. The initiative “Regulating The Game” was a call to action for the sector’s leadership. Instigating such players to be more curious, contest existing ideas, collectively share insights on best ways to overcome the challenges posed by public policy, and also create a new culture. One that strives to continuously improve the gambling environment in Australia.

Senet’s Overview of Australia’s Gambling Industry

Money laundering and other criminal activities in the local gambling market, according to Paul Newson, a Senet gambling regulations specialist in Australia, take advantage of existing regulatory loopholes. Paul Newson stated that Senet is at the forefront of dealing with compliance issues among local providers. He urged all industry players to be proactive in responding to regulatory deficiencies in order to build a more resilient sector.

“All stakeholders must be proactive and play an active role in the public square,” Paul said during the five-day conference. Their input must be supplemented by taking into account the views of other stakeholders. It is the most effective strategy for influencing public policy in favor of an all-encompassing and equitable regulatory framework that is tailored to current security threats undermining the gambling industry.”

Ways Attendees Will Benefit From the Program

The expert content presented in the “Regulating The Game” training, as well as the networking platform that encouraged debate among key sector players, piqued the participants’ interest. The event’s general atmosphere broke down barriers among Australia’s gambling providers, resulting in candid discussions about sector issues, prospective opportunities, and potential risk factors.

Not all attendees in the integrated environment understood or applied regulatory principles to leverage advantages such as formulating tried and tested public policies, capitalizing on emerging trends in the global gambling industry, or implementing intelligent risk-based policies to protect their entities from fraudsters.

The partnership between International Center for Gaming Law (ICGR) and Australia 

The International Center for Gaming Regulation, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (ICGR) collaborated seamlessly with Australian gambling industry leaders. The five-day event brought together experts in research, law, intelligence, public policy, investigations, and regulation, making it a one-of-a-kind and well-rounded gathering. Such is not typical in the Australian market.

ACMA, which enforces Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act, AUSTRAC, the official financial intelligence unit in Australia’s gambling niche, and the AML/CTF regulator were among the key figures in the event. Bringing such actors together is difficult, but the event achieved an impeccable balance that evoked a collaborative effort between these bodies. The various representatives discussed emerging risks in the gambling industry, their personal priorities, and their position on the current regulatory framework.

Key Resolutions from “Regulating The Game” Training

The main takeaways from the historic event include the established opportunity for gambling operators and regulators to form a long-term relationship that could shape a prosperous future for Australia’s industry. The collaboration of Australian gambling regulation specialists and international regulators provided a road map for local providers to national and international expansion. In addition, the local market resolved to engage in healthy and productive competition through networking channels that inform compliance and regulatory policy.

Recap

Australia’s gambling market is unlike any other in the world, and it has enormous growth potential. The Queensland government valued the market at more than $225 billion in 2019. This figure skyrocketed due to an increase in online gamblers during the 2020 and 2021 pandemic, and the resulting containment measures. Initiatives such as “Regulating The Game” help to consolidate the Australian market and ensure a unified regulatory front in the industry’s expansion efforts.

Charlotte Wilson has been an iGaming journalist for Australia-Casino since 2019. Contact information: [email protected]

Australia

Tickets on sale for IAGR’s annual conference

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Tickets on sale for IAGR's annual conference
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Tickets are now on sale for the International Association of Gaming Regulator’s annual conference, IAGR2022, taking place in Melbourne, Australia, from 17 to 20 October.

Themed ‘A kickstart for collaboration’, through a range of speakers and panels this year’s event will delve into emerging technology, research, global trends and responsible gambling initiatives.

IAGR President, Dr Jason Lane, looks forward to bringing many global regulators and industry thought leaders together for the first time since the pandemic.

“While we held the conference last year in Boston, many regulators and speakers couldn’t travel, so attending virtually was the next best thing,” says Dr Lane.

“This year, we’re thrilled to create a space where regulators can meet in person and network again. Over four days, we’ll hear from influential industry stakeholders, researchers, thought leaders and futurists.

“IAGR2022 is an opportunity to work together towards a secure, efficient, vibrant and responsible industry. We look forward to welcoming regulators to Australia.”

Confirmed speakers and sessions for the conference this year include:

  • Christina Thakor-Rankin, Principal Consultant, 1710 Gaming Limited – ‘The rise and rise of female sports bettors (or why the Women’s World Cup 2023 will be bigger than Qatar 2022)’
  • Earle G Hall, Vice Chairman, International Gaming Standards Association & CEO @ AXES.ai – ‘An introduction to gambling in the metaverse’
  • Peter Soros, Deputy CEO Regulatory Strategy, Austrac – ‘The role of Austrac in disrupting money laundering in casinos, pubs and clubs
  • Stephen O’Bryan QC, Special Manager, Crown Melbourne Limited – ‘Role and nature of the Special Manager’
  • Tracy Schrans, Principal and President, Focal Research Consultants with Dr Tony Schellinck, CEO, Focal Research Consultants – ‘Linking real-time identification of at-risk players to relevant safer gambling action’
  • Jennifer Carleton, Chief Legal Officer, Sightline Payments – ‘Regulating crypto, cashless, and other emerging payments technologies’
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Australia

REGULATOR WARNS HIGHER FINES ON THE CARDS FOR ILLEGAL GAMBLING ADS

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REGULATOR WARNS HIGHER FINES ON THE CARDS FOR ILLEGAL GAMBLING ADS
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Online betting operators have been issued with more than $100,000 in fines over the past week as Liquor & Gaming NSW continues to take a zero-tolerance approach to the publication of illegal gambling inducements.

Most recently, online betting provider BetDeluxe has been fined $70,000 for publishing illegal gambling inducements after being prosecuted by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

This follows the successful prosecution of PointsBet, which was fined a total of $35,000 for publishing illegal gambling inducements last week, after receiving a $20,000 fine for the same offences in 2019.

Hospitality and Racing CEO, Anthony Keon said Liquor & Gaming NSW was continuing to pro-actively monitor online betting providers and it was completely unacceptable that seven bookmakers have been prosecuted on multiple occasions since 2018.

“Liquor & Gaming NSW will continue to actively pursue operators for illegal advertisements and advocate for the courts to issue higher penalties,” Mr Keon said.

“In 2018 the NSW Government introduced new laws to significantly increase penalties for wagering operators who are found guilty of promoting inducements to gamble, with maximum fines now set at $110,000 per offence for a corporation.

“Clearly some of these operators think gambling inducements are just the cost of doing business, but they are wrong, and they are pushing their luck. We will continue to bring these matters before the courts and seek higher penalties that reflect community expectations.”

In Downing Centre Local Court yesterday (18/5), BetDeluxe pleaded guilty to five offences that included 21 Facebook promotions for bonus bets on sports games and enhanced odds on horse racing.

In addition to the $70,000 in fines, BetDeluxe has also been ordered to pay $8,500 in legal costs. This is the first time the company has been prosecuted for this type of offence.

PointsBet pleaded guilty to two advertisements that included an Instagram promotion to get $50 back in bonus bets, similar to those it offered in 2019 on the Apple App Store, promising $100 cash back on certain bets.

“Prohibitions on gambling inducements are an important harm minimisation measure and the increase in maximum penalties, along with our continued prosecution action, should send a clear message to wagering operators about how seriously we view these matters,” Mr Keon said.

“Reoffenders run the risk of the higher range penalties, and more scrutiny, so let me be clear that patterns of poor compliance are not worth the trouble.

“We hope this is the first and last time we see BetDeluxe in court for gambling inducements.”

Since 2015, Liquor & Gaming NSW has successfully prosecuted 37 matters for prohibited gambling advertising, resulting in over $642,500 in fines, with nine betting providers currently before the courts.

 

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Australia

Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley to Step Down from Star Entertainment Board

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Two non-executive directors of the Star Entertainment Group have announced their intention to step down from the Board.

According to an ASX announcement by the company on Friday following another damaging week of public hearings – part of a regular review into Star’s suitability to retain its casino license for The Star Sydney – non-executive directors Sally Pitkin and Gerard Bradley will both stand down in the coming months. Pitkin will step down “by the end of the financial year” and Bradley “in the coming months”, the announcement said, with other changes expected to occur in due course.

Having largely dodged scrutiny in recent years while Crown endured an inquiry in NSW, home to Crown Sydney, and Royal Commissions in Victoria and Western Australia, home to Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, Star now finds itself treading a familiar path as it fights to save its reputation.

In Friday’s ASX filing, Star said it “notes the evidence in relation to Board renewal given in the public hearings in connection with the review of The Star Sydney being undertaken by Mr Adam Bell SC.

“As advised on 1 April 2022 in announcing the appointment of interim Executive Chairman John O’Neill AO, the Board acknowledged the need for accelerated Board change and would embark on a program of renewal in a timely manner. The Board is also mindful of the need for stability in this transitional period.”

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