The funding for the new player protection measures saw a sum of $100,000 sent to the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic. The clinic will spend the funding developing a website which will be focused around self-exclusion from gambling venues. Currently the self-exclusion will be limited to in-person venues and will not initially have support for online casinos
Natalie Wright, the director of the New South Wales Responsible Gambling segment said: “Just as technology is changing the way people gamble with the rise of online and app-based betting, it is also driving exciting new initiatives to support people to gamble responsibly. By funding programs and research projects like these, we will further develop and underpin the evidence base for responsible gambling policy and programs.”
The regulator announced the fines to the public via their website, posting a notice stating that Betsson’s NGG Nordic Ltd has received a warning and will be fined $2 million for offering “weekly surprises, cash prize draws, travel and free spins, bonuses, rewards and free games to loyal players.” They added that NGG Nordic has been offering the activity for 4 months, regardless of the fact the new gaming laws came into action 6 months ago, meaning the promotion started after the law was enforced.
In SkillOnNet’s case, the operator was offering “daily bonuses, monthly rewards, free spins, cashback and VIP packages” along with hosting an online lottery, which it does not have a license for. The operator will receive a warning and a fine of $1.5 million
One of SkillOnNet’s brands, PlayOJO has recently announced they will be altering the way they advertise in order to provide better protection to underage potential gamblers. They continued to state that they would no longer advertise between 4-9 PM, but the change was too little too late to avoid the fines.
Betsson took a different approach to the fine, releasing a statement saying they do not agree with the decision and they “supports NGG Nordic Ltd’s view that their customer offerings have been in line with what is permitted under the new gambling legislation. The regulation on bonuses is vague and has been shown to leave much room for different interpretations.”
Most recently, a member from the UK’s parliament, has joined the conversation, making it clear that she doesn't believe loot boxes are a form of gambling. She said that it would be a mistake for Parliament to try and introduce regulations on loot boxes, until they are properly educated on the subject.
A further statement was released from UK’s parliament saying
Australia has been pushing for more control over the gambling industry, shown through the number of features they have been implementing. Advertising has been controlled, preventing certain content and phrases from being used in gambling ads, casinos are now required to report on activity and a new self-exclusion policy is in the works. The move by Macquarie appears to be part of this movement, however the company is claiming they made the decision on their own.
There will be some limitations to the ban, for instances where lottery tickets are purchased from
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