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Jerome García August 29, 2023 3 min read
VGCCC Asks Betting Operators to Discontinue Inducements for Sports Clubs
The gambling regulator spoke against the inducements online betting operators offer for members of sporting clubs under sponsorship deals
Gambling addiction in Australia is recognized as a serious public health issue. With pokies available on every corner in bustling cities and easy access to online gambling, each month, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to gambling. Amid the growing concerns about the negative impact of problem gambling, lawmakers in New South Wales and Victoria initiated changes to the gambling regulations that seek to protect consumers.
Now, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), the regulatory body in charge of gambling in the state, announced new requirements impacting the deals between sports clubs and online gambling operators. The Commission urged sporting clubs that offer incentives for their members by teaming up with online wagering operators to discontinue such agreements.
The gambling watchdog said that it was able to identify some sporting clubs that have signed agreements with online betting operators offering different financial incentives for members that engage in gambling activities. Additionally, the Commission said that some sporting clubs benefit from different incentives that are determined by the spending of their clients.
“The VGCCC is aware that some online wagering providers are entering into sponsorship agreements with sporting clubs to induce their members to create accounts with the provider by linking financial incentives to each member of the club that signs up. Clubs are sometimes given additional incentives based on the spend by their members,“reads a statement released by the VGCCC
Inducements Are in Breach of the Gambling Regulations
In its latest announcement, the VGCCC said that sporting clubs need to be really careful with gambling sponsorships and incentivizing members, especially considering that there are underage members. The commission urged sporting clubs to avoid such partnerships with gambling companies, claiming that they may result in harm to their members.
“The VGCCC demands wagering service providers cease promoting their products in this manner as they may be in breach of legislation by doing so, in addition to being inconsistent with their social license to minimize harm,“added the VGCCC
It also demanded betting service providers stop promoting their services to sporting clubs in such a way. According to the VGCCC, online betting companies must adhere to the established regulations and follow the social rules that seek to minimize harm. Moreover, it said that online betting providers that offer “any credit, voucher, reward, or other benefit as an incentive to open an account or refer another person to open an account” are breaching Section 4.1.10 of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.