Welcome to the latest issue of Addisons’ Gambling Law & Regulation. This Newsletter is timed to coincide with the Australasian Gaming Expo1 and Gaming, Racing and Wagering Australia 20132.
There have been a number of recent developments involving Australian gambling regulation that are the subject of articles in this Newsletter.
First, the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) released its Final Report into its review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in March. The recommendations made in this report remain relevant when considering whether the current regulatory regime relating to interactive gambling is appropriate. In light of the imminent Federal election, it will be interesting to see whether the government, of whichever party, following the election adopts an approach similar to that recommended by the DBCDE in its report with some relaxation of the current prohibitions on the provision of online gaming services or whether those prohibitions are maintained with additional measures that cause those prohibitions to be more effective in practice. The DBCDE recommendations are summarised in this Newsletter.
In its policy document entitled “The Coalition’s Policy to Help Problem Gamblers” which has just been released as part of its election strategy, comments are made by the Coalition about the increase in gambling advertising that has occurred as a result of the increased popularity of sports betting and the concerns that exist as a result of this increase. Among the more recent developments in this area are controls placed on the broadcast of advertisements relating to live odds. The latest changes, which came into effect on 1 August 2013, followed an announcement made in late May by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and then Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy that the promotion of live odds should be banned. This Newsletter includes an article which comments on the current regulatory framework.
A summary of the recent Sports Alive case is included in the Newsletter. This case demonstrates some of the difficulties involved in “ringfencing” betting monies held by gambling operators so that they remain held solely for the benefit of betting customers.
We also reproduce a Focus Paper published earlier this year in connection with the Kakavas case. This is the only case relating to a claim by a gambler for recovery of gambling losses which, to our knowledge, has been heard by the High Court. In our view, this decision sets out clearly the legal principles that will apply in respect of claims for recovery of gambling losses and illustrates the difficulties that exist for gamblers seeking to recover losses from gambling venues.
Our final article reproduces an editorial that has been published by Asian Gambling Brief and illustrates the differences that exist, in reality and perception, through holding an exclusive gambling licence.
If you have any queries or comments relating to this Newsletter, please feel free to contact one of Addisons Media and Gambling Team.