June 28, 2023 3 min read


Australia Wants a National Gambling Regulator, Calls for Ads Ban

The debates surrounding what industry changes must be enacted in Australia in order to make the country’s gambling operations safer rage on

Despite a lack of consensus, for the most part, one thing has become perfectly clear – gambling laws in the Down Under would be changing and they are expected to change on an abrupt and aggressive timeline.

Changes Coming to Online Gambling and Advertisement in Australia

Even though there have been quite a few setbacks, including the termination of a cashless gaming test in New South Wales due to a cyberattack, the general mood among legislators has been one of acting tough on the industry.

How tough though exactly has been reduced to a matter of blame-assigning and finger-pointing as the government is willing to push sweeping reforms that the opposition has called not good enough. Some threads have begun unraveling though, with the Australian parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its harms now seeking to hammer out some clear-cut rules and set a course for the future.

One of the proposals is to have a national gambling regulator that will be in charge of all licensing and regulation of the online gambling laws in the country. This would move Australia away from the model adopted in places such as Canada and North America and bring it into the fold of how the United Kingdom regulates its industry. Inquiry chair Peta Murphy, a Member of Parliament, said:

We have recommended that a single Australian Government Minister be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive national strategy on online gambling harm reduction, supported by national regulation, an online gambling ombudsman, a harm reduction levy on online wagering service providers (WSPs), and a public education campaign.

Inquiry chair Peta Murphy

Online operators would also have to cough up a special fund that would be dedicated to tackling harm prevention. The inquiry has also called for a complete ban on all forms of advertising with an initial proposal outlining a phasing out of all gambling-related promotional inducement over the course of the next three years.

Consumer Protection Put in Focus in Latest Discussions and Proposals

A total of 31 recommendations have been published this morning by the inquiry as the country is looking to significantly reduce gambling harm and strengthen the overall level of protection nationwide.

Murphy is confident that giving the central government oversight over gambling would lead to the strengthening of consumer protection habits, allowing everyone to benefit. States would not lose too much of their powers, however. For one, they would still be able to set the point of consumption taxes on online gambling.

However, the emphasis would be on introducing stronger overall consumer protections for all consumers involved in the activity. Should this idea go through, the inquiry suggests that it be done in four phases. During the first phase, all online gambling ads would be prohibited – including on social media platforms, commercial radio and so on.

During the second phase, the blackout would become even stronger, with gambling and commentary on odds during or an hour before a sports broadcast prohibited. The third phase would then stop the broadcasting of gambling ads from 6 am to 10 pm, and then – the fourth and final phase would simply pull the plug on all online gambling advertisements.

The debate is still not quite finished, but there seems to be sufficient political momentum to make this happen, especially in the wake of investigations into Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts. The measure had been anticipated by the industry for a while now.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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