The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is preparing to implement a number of additional restrictions on gambling advertising as part of its drive to uphold the integrity of sporting events and reduce harm caused by problem gambling.

This will see existing regulations tightened to block operators from offering any inducements to gamble, and preventing companies from advertising odds on any sporting event which are less than four hours long..

Earlier this month the state’s gaming regulator, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR), amended regulations to make it an offence for a betting service provider to offer odds on a sporting event in NSW unless it is licensed in an Australian jurisdiction.

Should the sport have a controlling body, the operator must also have an integrity agreement meeting the requirements of the Racing Administration Amendment Act of 2014 in order to allow customers to bet on any competition this body organises.

Any breach of this new legislation will see corporations hit with penalties of up to AUD$11,000 and individuals fined $5,500 or sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

“The legislative reforms regulate the interaction between sporting organisations and betting service providers, provide a framework for the establishment of integrity agreements between sports controlling bodies and betting service providers, and outline fundamental requirements for betting on sporting events,” the OLGR explained.

This, the regulator hopes, will strengthen the integrity of both sporting events as well as betting that occurs on such events.

Additional controls will follow in 2016, with an existing ban on advertising gambling inducements set out in the 2012 Betting and Racing Regulation and 2012 Totalizator Regulation to be amended to capture all types of inducements offered to NSW residents.

Previously only inducements in the form of credit, vouchers or rewards were banned, but this will be expanded to prevent operators from encouraging users to bet in any way from January 4th next year.

From March 1st, it will then become an offence to publish gambling advertising during a sporting fixture where the advertising relates to that fixture, and where there is a dedicated sports governing body for that event. This includes the promotion of live odds relating to sporting fixtures when they are underway.

The measure was first announced in November and will affect advertising during Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and Twenty20 cricket matches, though test cricket and golf tournaments will be exempt.

However certain exemptions will apply. Odds may be offered on fixtures that run for more than four hours or over multiple days, unless it is decided that the exemption is not in the public’s best interests.

This will be enforced with fines of up to $5,500 for any person that publishes such advertising, including wagering operators, broadcasters, commentators or others.

 

 

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