March 23, 2023 3 min read


Fineff’s Testimony Sparks Calls for Stricter Gambling Regulation in Australia

The dangers of online sports gambling have come under scrutiny in Australia in recent years, with numerous reports and studies highlighting the harm it can cause to individuals, families, and communities

The Guardian reported that the case of Gavin Fineff, a former financial advisor who lost more than AUD8 million ($5.4 million) to sports betting companies, has brought the issue to the forefront once again. Speaking to federal politicians in Canberra, Fineff urged them to take radical action to prevent others from falling into the same trap.

Australia’s Online Sports Gambling Industry Under Fire After Gavin Fineff’s Testimony

Gavin Fineff’s story is a cautionary tale of the devastating impact that gambling addiction can have on individuals and those around them. He stole millions of dollars from clients and friends to feed his addiction, leaving some of them elderly and vulnerable. Despite the obvious red flags and monitoring alerts, he was given millions of dollars in free bets by online betting companies, who were more focused on realizing their own profits than ensuring a responsible gambling environment.

The Northern Territory Racing Commission, which regulates almost all online betting companies in Australia, recently found Ladbrokes guilty of serious breaches of its license while dealing with Fineff. The commission found that Ladbrokes did not investigate the source of Fineff’s money or whether he could afford deposits of AUD2.2 million ($1.5 million) over a 21-month period. Instead, the company offered him bonus incentives worth AUD528,890 ($356,370) to entice him to spend more.

Fineff’s testimony has sparked renewed calls for stricter regulation of online sports gambling in Australia. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has been working with Fineff to draft legislation that places the responsibility on gambling companies to report suspicious transactions and proceeds of crime to authorities. 

Australia Is Witnessing Alarming Rise in Online Gambling Addiction

MP Andrew Wilkie believes that tens of thousands of Australians are addicted to gambling, particularly online betting and poker machines, and that it is a terrible reflection on federal, state, and territory governments that this is allowed to continue unchecked.

Australia has the highest gambling losses of any country, with an average of AUD1,276 ($860) per person each year. Problem gambling rates have more than doubled since 2011, with 1.23% of the adult population affected in 2019. The harm caused by online gambling is a growing concern, with many experts warning of its addictive nature and potential to cause financial and emotional damage to individuals and families.

The need for a radical intervention to prevent online gambling harm is clear. The federal government must listen to community sentiment and take action to regulate the industry and protect vulnerable individuals. The ongoing inquiry into the harm caused by online gambling provides an excellent opportunity to address this issue and effect real change.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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