National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering
In November 2018, Commonwealth and state and territory governments launched the National Consumer Protection Framework (National Framework) for Online Wagering in Australia, which will provide stronger consumer protections for Australians gambling online.
The Government is concerned that the rate of online problem gambling is three times higher than other types of gambling*, and that is why the establishment of the National Framework was at the core of its response to the 2015 Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering.
* Hing, N., Gainsbury, S., Blaszczynski, A., Wood, R., Lubman, D., & Russell, A. (2014). Interactive gambling. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia.
The National Framework provides – for the first time – strong, nationally consistent protections for consumers of Australian interactive wagering services.
It consists of 10 measures to empower individuals, and ensure the harm from online wagering is minimised. The measures will provide people with easy-to-use tools and information to better control their gambling from a voluntary opt-out pre-commitment scheme through to a national self-exclusion register.
The National Framework will have reach to around 120 wagering service providers and their account holders. This means that the National Framework will apply to around two and a half million active online wagering accounts in Australia.
Commonwealth, state and territory governments are implementing the suite of measures within the National Framework progressively, beginning from 26 November 2018 with six measures now implemented.
- A fact sheet on the National Framework and its 10 measures
- A case study – Matthew’s story
- A National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering – National Policy Statement
- Regulation for the National Framework – state and territory website links
Other gambling reforms
The Government has taken tough action against illegal offshore wagering providers. This was successfully implemented through the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017, which empowers the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to take tougher action against illegal offshore providers.
ACMA now reports on any complaints, breaches and investigations in relation to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. For further information, visit the ACMA website.
The Commonwealth is also implementing a website blocking scheme to protect Australians from illegal offshore gambling websites, as announced by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts on 11 November 2019. The ACMA will use its powers to work in cooperation with Australian internet service providers to block illegal offshore gambling websites which are prohibited services under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, the final stage of its reform package.
Complementing the National Framework, is a raft of legislative reform which successfully passed Parliament in 2017, including restrictions on showing gambling promotions during live sporting events, broadcast in children’s viewing hours. These restrictions have been in place since 30 March 2018. ACMA has implemented the same rules for online content service providers.
Interactive online wagering can impact anyone. More than 240,000 individuals in Australia are at-risk of or already experience significant harm caused by online gambling.
Frequently asked questions
When will the National Framework be implemented?
The formal commencement date for the National Framework is 26 November 2018.
The measures of the National Framework are being implemented progressively, as set out in the National Policy Statement.
Does the National Framework go far enough to address problem gambling in Australia?
The National Framework has been developed on the best available evidence, and was consulted on widely with key stakeholders. It provides a strong benchmark and will be updated over time in line with best practice.
It will also be further informed by a number of trials being undertaken to inform some of the National Framework’s measures.
How can you ensure National Framework measures will be implemented consistently across the states and territories?
Commonwealth, state and territory Governments will continue to work together, and within the regulatory tools available in each jurisdiction, to ensure the consistent implementation of measures outlined in the National Framework.
A governance committee, consisting of representatives from each of the relevant Commonwealth and state and territory government departments, will support the effective implementation, ongoing management, review and updating of the National Framework.
What support is available to Australians with a gambling addiction?
The Australian Government provides funding for financial counsellors to help people, their family and friends affected by problem gambling.
The services provide intensive one-on-one support, which help people to address their financial problems, make informed choices and build their longer-term capability to budget and manage their money. Further information about financial counsellors is available from the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or at www.ndh.org.au.
Additionally, states and territories fund the National Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858 and Gambling Help Online website www.gamblinghelponline.org.au. Support for anyone affected by gambling harm are encouraged to contact the National Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblinghelponline.org.au.