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Victoria introduces new measures to tackle online gambling harm

| By Robert Fletcher
The Victorian government has announced a series of new measures and requirements to help protect consumers from harm when gambling online and promote responsible gambling in the Australian state, including limits on direct marketing.
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Set out in a Ministerial Direction, the measures will apply to all interstate wagering service providers offering interactive wagering and betting services to Victorians, as well as betting service providers licensed in Victoria that offer interactive wagering and betting services to any person, including interstate customers.

Introduction of the new rules will be staggered, with the first coming into effect on 31 July, whereby wagering service providers must provide all customers with monthly activity statements. The previous month’s statement must also be available by request or through their online betting account.

Customers must be able to access a record of their betting account transactions, either immediately or within 14 days of the player making a request.

Wagering service providers that are not able to comply with these requirements by the end of the month will be able to apply for an extension to comply up to 14 November. However, such requests can only be made if the operator has a valid reason, such as if their business was disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

From 31 March 2023, wagering service providers must ensure all relevant persons complete responsible service of wagering training courses. This will apply to employees, contractors and directors involved in providing betting services or in decisions that affect the services provided.

Staff associated with the business on 28 February 2023 must complete initial training by 31 March 2023, while new staff must carry out initial training no later than one month after commencing employment.

All covered personnel will also be required to take part in annual refresher training within 12 months of completing the initial training and every year thereafter. Records of training must be kept for at least seven years, with the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) able to request a copy.

Finally, as of 30 June 2023, wagering service providers must ensure new customers can create a betting account without being required to consent to direct marketing or take additional steps to opt out of receiving direct marketing.

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