July 4, 2024 3 min read

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Responsible Gambling Proponents Want Bookies to Show Win-Loss Balance

Another consumer protection measure in gaining traction in Australia with a call for bookies to display patron’s win-loss balance prominently

Pitched by Jake Minear, a West Australian businessman, the idea is as simple as it sounds. Bookmakers would be obligated to display the win-loss balance of each patron in a prominent way, that allows punters to keep track of their expenditures in real time and possibly help them decide to stop betting before going overboard.

Make it easier for punters to track their wins and losses gambling

The idea, although coming from a private person, has already gained backing from prominent responsible gambling advocates, among whom is MP Zoe Daniela and Tim Costello, who is known for his tougher stance on gambling and often harsh rhetoric against the industry.

Each account, the proposal argues, should display the weekly, monthly and annual win-loss balance on the home page so that players are always in the know. Minear compares this feature to how banks show their customers the balance, debits and credits.

“The gambler doesn’t have to show anyone else – but at least they would know their actual status and could make informed decisions,” Minear argues. Minear is not as hawkish on the gambling industry as Costello, but he sees the value in passing measures that can evidently increase player protection without harming businesses.

As he puts it, this measure would not really stop people from gambling, but would make it much easier for them to actually keep track of their gambling expenses and not run the risk of developing an issue or overspending – or at least reducing this risk.

Costello has been equally zealous about the proposal, arguing that it made “a lot of sense,” and that it’s a transparent feature that could only benefit consumers. It would be good to see that put into the existing gambling framework, Costello explained.

Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds, as gambling businesses would be on the hook for some losses. By notifying gamblers how much they have spent, overall gambling spending does decline which could make some businesses more skittish to act proactively and wait for a decision from all-high.

Informing people about their win-loss balance leads to reduced spending

According to one study, players who do receive activity statements tend to reduce the money they bet on sports by anything between 4.9% and 7.6% of their usual amounts.

Responsible Wagering Australia chief executive Kai Cantwell, whose company represents the interests of gambling business in the country such as Unibet, PointsBet, Sportsbet, bet365, Betfair, and Entain, cautioned that any changes must ensure that there is actual harm reduction.

Responsible gambling campaigners in general have been asking for operators to take a more proactive approach and make their responsible gambling tools front-and-center of their betting offers. The idea has gained traction with some companies, but there has been no definitive industry-wide response.

This new measure, though, may be a middle-ground allowing consumers to be better protected while businesses to fulfil their obligations to their customer bases by ensuring everyone is betting within their means.

Journalist

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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