The New South Wales government has vowed to “improve, modernize, and streamline” the sports betting and racing laws in the state. The current wagering legislation expires in four months.
The NSW government has started preparations for the updates early so that the new betting and racing laws are ready before 1 September 2022 when the existing regulations expire.
Wagering in NSW is currently governed by several acts and regulations – The Betting and Racing Act 1998 and Betting and Racing Regulation 2012, as well as the Totalizator Act 1997 and Totalizator Regulation 2012.
Unfortunately, these regulations are outdated and need to be modernized to address the needs of the betting and racing industry, as well as the contemporary punter in Australia’s most populous state.
Some of these laws were first enacted almost 25 years ago, so it is paramount that the NSW government and regulator update them so that they continue to promote industry integrity and protect bettors.
Regulations Ensure People Enjoy Safe Wagering
Liquor & Gaming NSW said in a Regulatory Impact Statement that if it allowed the current regulation to lapse without replacing it, would reduce the government’s transparency. It would also reduce accountability for community and industry stakeholders who would be deprived of clear statutory rules about important matters such as responsible wagering.
Anthony Keon, CEO of Hospitality and Racing, said that the regulatory reviews ensured that the law remained contemporary and that the objectives they had aligned with what the industry and community were expecting.
He added that “a large portion of the community” enjoyed wagering and placing bets without those things becoming a problem for them. According to Keon, the point of these betting and racing regulation updates was not only to create sustainability for the industry but also to protect bettors so that they could “freely pursue wagering as a safe form of leisure and entertainment.”
Draft Regulation Changes and Updates
The draft Liquor & Gaming regulations that it is now asking for feedback on include:
- New penalty notice offences as alternatives to court prosecution
- Improving harm minimisation principles
- Prohibitions on some “free” promotions or offers for which punters need to open a betting account
- Fees adjusted annually for inflation
- Modifications on how the state Minister for Hospitality and Racing is informed about changes made by betting operators
The NSW regulator is now asking the general public to provide feedback on the proposed changes in legislation so that authorities better understand what bettors and consumers think of them. The closing date for views and comments is 22 June.