Victoria’s Online Gambling Overhaul: A New Dawn for Player Transparency and Protection

Victoria’s Online Gambling Overhaul: A New Dawn for Player Transparency and Protection
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Victoria has rolled out new requirements for online gambling operators, marking a significant step towards enhancing player transparency and protection.

With these changes, the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) aims to ensure that punters are better informed and positioned to make responsible gambling choices.

Key takeaways
  • New standards for Victoria-licensed online gambling operators enforced from 1 April.
  • Focus on display of net loss, net wins, and spending information in player accounts.
  • Stringent guidelines include the use of plain English and limited colors to highlight losses and include gambling harm messaging.
  • Penalties for non-compliance could amount to AU$11,539 per non-compliant activity statement issued.
  • Extensions granted to major operators for system changes, with full compliance expected by 31 March 2024.
  • Broader efforts by the VGCCC to address gambling harm, including fines and operational changes for land-based gambling providers.

As of 1 April, the online gambling world woke up to a fresh round of new regulations.

Victoria-licensed operators are now mandated to align their systems with the standards set forth by the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC). To increase transparency and fairness in reporting online gambling activity, it strives to provide players with clearer insights into their gambling habits.

Enhanced Reporting for Better Decision Making

The most notable change is an increased emphasis on how spending, net loss, and wins are displayed within player accounts.

A significant change is that the net loss will now exclude free and bonus bets, offering a more accurate measure of player expenditure. Similarly, net wins will be calculated by subtracting all stakes from the total payout, ensuring that consumers’ monthly statements present a precise picture of their financial interactions with the platform.

The VGCCC has also set guidelines requiring licensees to use plain language, removing technical jargon that might cloud understanding. Moreover, a simple but impactful visual directive is the limitation of colours to black and red, designed to make losses starkly apparent. Each monthly statement is further required to feature messaging aimed at mitigating gambling harm, echoing the commission’s commitment to player welfare.

Operators found breaching these new standards could face penalties up to 60 penalty units, translating to AU$11,539 for every non-compliant activity statement issued.

A Collaboratively Forged Path to Compliance

Acknowledging the complexity of these changes, the VGCCC has not sprung this upon operators out of the blue.

The conversation around these adjustments began some 18 months prior, rooted in the National Consumer Protection Framework’s (NCPF) activity statement requirements that emerged in November 2022. An initial review of the monthly activity statements from twelve wagering service providers sparked the development of an Activity Statement Expectations Guide, alongside an updated statement prototype to aid in steering the practice towards the new standards.

After a period of feedback and collaboration, the VGCCC finalised these measures, initially slated for implementation by 1 December 2023. Recognising the mammoth task of system overhauls, extensions to 31 March 2024 were granted to major operators including Tabcorp, Entain, and Betfair, ensuring they have adequate time to comply.

Safeguarding Victoria’s Gamblers

This initiative is part of a broader, concerted effort by the VGCCC to curb gambling harm. Recent actions include significant fines for operators found breaching responsible gambling rules and mandates for technological changes to minimise underage gambling risks in land-based venues.

Emblematic of the commission’s vigilant oversight in the land-based sector, its recent endorsement of Crown Resorts’ license after a comprehensive review speaks to its balanced approach. Acknowledging the casino’s corrective strides post-criticism for past misdemeanours while highlighting its substantial role as an employer in the state underscores the nuanced responsibilities the regulator navigates in ensuring both industry viability and player protection.

As Victoria treads forward with these reforms, the horizon looks promising for a gambling environment that champions clarity, fairness, and the well-being of its participants.

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Olivia Hughes
Olivia Hughes
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Olivia is an experienced journalist passionate about keeping our readers up to date with the latest in casino and iGaming news.

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