Bookmakers advertising restrictions to be lifted

Bookmakers advertising restrictions to be lifted

04/11/2008
GRNSW News

 

Taken from Joint Media Release from NSW and Victorian Governments.

Victoria and New South Wales will soon lift advertising restrictions that apply to interstate
bookmakers and wagering service providers under proposed legislative changes for both states.

In a joint announcement by Victorian Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Rob Hulls and
New South Wales Minister for Gaming and Racing Kevin Greene, both states would repeal
advertising limitations to allow interstate-based bookmakers to advertise their services.

“It’s been a long-held view in Victoria that advertising laws should be removed, but only when we
were confident Victorian bookmakers would not be unfairly disadvantaged,” Mr Hulls said.

“The proposed changes will create an opportunity for bookmakers in both Victoria and New
South Wales to grow their businesses through advertising generally and will also provide new
revenue streams for racing clubs in both states through advertising and race sponsorship.”

Mr Greene said both governments would move quickly to draft new advertising reforms and
wagering service providers would operate under strict guidelines that will include appropriate
consumer protections.

“A recent High Court decision raised constitutional issues in relation to laws prohibiting interstate
wagering operators from advertising in many Australian states,” Mr Greene said.

Mr Greene said current restrictions on advertising by overseas bookmakers would remain.

Mr Hulls said a National Competition Policy (NCP) review of racing and betting legislation in
1998 recommended interstate advertising provisions be removed.

Mr Hulls said when the Government was elected in 1999 it agreed, in principle, to remove the
legislative restrictions when similar regulatory reform was undertaken in other jurisdictions.

“While opening the way for advertising by bookmakers licensed in other jurisdictions, Victoria
remains committed to a responsible gambling environment,” Mr Hulls.

“We will also be proposing guidelines in relation to advertising standards for wagering service
providers to ensure that appropriate consumer protection measures are included.
Mr Greene said any Australian bookmaking or wagering service provider would need to meet
high standards when promoting their services.

“Over the past few weeks wagering operators have placed advertisements in NSW offering
inducements to open betting accounts and I am concerned these advertisements have no regard
for the need to minimise the harm associated with problem gambling,” he said.

“These new laws mean our states can restrict the nature of advertising to ensure integrity and
reduce harm when Australian wagering operators legally advertise in NSW.”

Mr Greene said the reform to the NSW Racing Administration Act 1998 will also address legal
technicalities in race fields legislation identified in a Supreme Court case last week.

“When the case was decided last week I immediately committed to move quickly to review the
legislation and correct the technicalities identified by the court,” he said.

“This legislation will now ensure all wagering operators who profit from the use of NSW race
fields contribute to the cost of staging those races.”

Mr Hulls said the changes, together with the recently announced bookmaking reforms in Victoria,
have provided a fantastic opportunity for Victorian bookmakers to take on all comers on the
national betting scene.