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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

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Online and telephone betting harm minimisation measures

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All online and telephone betting providers, in Victoria or elsewhere, providing interactive wagering and betting services to Victorian residents must comply with strict requirements under the direction of the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, which comes into effect on 26 May 2020 (New Direction) and replaces the previous direction issued on 20 May 2019 (Previous Direction). 

To ensure clarity around the measures that betting operators must comply with, the Minister issued the New Direction to revoke and replace the Previous Direction. The New Direction removes the 2020 Measures but preserves the 2019 Measures.

The 2019 Measures remain in effect, where betting operators must:

  • not offer credit, vouchers or other rewards to an account holder as an incentive to refer another person (such as family and friends) to open a betting account
  • not offer complimentary or free bets unless the winnings received from that bet can be withdrawn by the account holder (i.e. the winnings cannot be subject to a requirement that the account holder continue to bet with those winnings)
  • not send direct marketing to consumers without their express consent (opt-in), ensure that there is an easily accessible and usable process for customers to unsubscribe (opt-out), not send direct marketing to customers who have unsubscribed and not provide any credits, vouchers or rewards to customers to encourage them to opt in
  • ensure that all customers opening a new account either set a limit on the amount of money that can be deposited into their betting account (deposit limit) or opt out of setting a limit
  • provide consumers with simple and easy-to-use tools, with clearly explained and prominently displayed processes, to allow them to set deposit limits
  • not allow a person to deposit money into a betting account which would breach a deposit limit they have set
  • ensure customers can simply and easily close a betting account if they choose to do so and must not offer any credit or other reward to encourage customers to keep a betting account open.

The intention is that requirements relating to activity statements, consistent gambling messaging and staff training will be reintroduced once the work required for implementation has been finalised in collaboration with the Commonwealth, states and territories. 

To read the full measures and restrictions, see: Ministerial Direction 26 May 2020 (PDF, 336.55 KB)

The restrictions under the New and Previous Direction were put in place by the Victorian government following an agreement between state and federal governments to commit to the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering

While the New Direction does not impose any new requirements, wagering service providers must continue to comply with existing requirements under the 2019 Measures. Failure to comply may attract a penalty of up to 60 penalty units ($9,913.20).

If you believe any betting provider has not complied with these measures and restrictions, you should contact the relevant betting provider or make a complaint online
 

Article last modified 
26 May 2020