New protections for consumers and tougher laws against overseas gambling providers have been announced today in response to the O'Farrell Review into Illegal Offshore Wagering.

28 April 2016

The Review found that Australian regulations are fragmented and inconsistent, and existing enforcement measures ineffective in combatting illegal offshore wagering services. According to the Review, Australians lost an estimated $400 million betting in this illegal industry in 2014, which is expected to increase to $910 million by 2020.

The Review was commissioned by the Government last September to combat this trend. By operating overseas, illegal gambling sites avoid Australian regulations and taxation requirements and do not contribute to the community.

The Government has accepted 18 of the 19 recommendations of the Review in full or in principle, including to:

  • Establish a consistent national consumer protection framework comprising key harm minimisation measures such as voluntary pre-commitment and a national self-exclusion register.
  • Introduce amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to prohibit 'click to call' wagering services, and ban the provision of wagering services being offered to Australians by unlicensed offshore operators.
  • Strengthen the enforcement of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 and allow new civil penalties for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to target those who facilitate illegal offshore sites.
  • Consult with stakeholders, such as Internet Service Providers, on exploring other disruption measures, including voluntary website and payment blocking.

More information can be found on the Department of Social Services website.