Australia's interactive gambling laws are under review, with the release of the discussion paper Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

What will the interactive gambling review look at?

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has been asked to review the Interactive Gambling Act with reference to:

  • the growth of online gambling services (both regulated and unregulated) in Australia and overseas, and the risk of this to the incidence of problem gambling;
  • the development of new technologies, including smart-phones, and the convergence of existing technologies that may accelerate the current trend towards the take-up of online gambling services in Australia and overseas;
  • the adequacy of the existing provisions of the Act, including technical, operational and enforcement issues relating to the prohibition of interactive gambling services and the advertising of such services;
  • consideration, where appropriate, of technology and platform neutrality including current distinctions relating to betting on the run and micro-betting;
  • international regulatory approaches to online gambling services including consideration of their effectiveness and cost;
  • examination of the social, tax, jurisdictional and enforcement aspects of regulated access to interactive gambling services currently prohibited under the Act;
  • harm minimisation strategies for online gambling;
  • the findings of the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform inquiry into interactive and online gambling and gambling advertising (which is yet to report) and the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Gambling (2010), and
  • any other relevant matters.

What happens now?

Submissions on the discussion paper are due by 21 October 2011. The Department might conduct further consultations with submitters to clarify aspects of their submission or to gather further information.

The final report is due by the first half of 2012, subject to the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform reporting by the end of 2011.