March 19, 2024 3 min read


Significant Reforms Planned for NT Gambling Laws

The Northern Territory plans a major reform of its gambling regulations, implementing tougher fines and new levy, among other changes

The growing popularity of online gambling activities resulted in the need for improvements and changes to the existing regulations in a number of countries across the globe. Australia, a country where gambling is identified as a serious public health issue, has identified the need to overhaul its gambling laws. Yet, those crucial changes are in the hands of different states. Besides New South Wales, the Northern Territory (NT) government is also considering changes to its laws regarding gambling.

The changes in the regulations seek to enforce tougher rules than before. Currently, there are two betting exchanges as well as nearly three dozen sports betting operators who are doing business in the region. The NT Racing Commission, the local gambling regulator, is in charge of overseeing the gambling activities of the operators. Still, research from last year acknowledged that the existing rules apply a “light touch” to the sector.

NT Operators to Face Tougher Fines, New Levy

However, the NT government’s gambling reform, led by the Racing and Wagering Bill 2024, seeks to introduce major changes to the sector. Affecting wagering service providers (WSPs), the gambling reform seeks to introduce a new levy. Applying to WSPs’ profits, the tax rate is yet to be confirmed by the NT government.

Another major change involves the implementation of serious fines for operators who breach the established regulations. Such operators would be subject to penalties that can go as high as AU$440,000 ($287,000).

On the other hand, under the new rules, WSPs that want to operate in NT will be required to be physically present in the territory. This otherwise means that any operator that wants to offer its services in the jurisdiction would have to have a retail presence via an office for example.

The overhaul of the sector will also impact the NT Racing Commission, the current regulator. Ultimately, it will be transformed into the Racing and Wagering Commission, the new body that will be in charge of overseeing gambling in the state.

Despite the planned changes, the national advocacy organization that is focused on reducing gambling harm and providing support, the Alliance for Gambling Reform, is skeptical about the impact of the changes. Recently, the Guardian reported that the Alliance’s chief executive, Carol Bennett, showed support for the regulation of gambling on a federal level, adding that this approach can ultimately help implement effective regulation of gambling in NT.

She criticized the currently proposed changes, outlining that only one gambling treatment and support group participated in the discussions. In contrast, Bennett said that all NT gambling operators were asked for input.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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