The Productivity Commission's draft report on gambling has
been released today, and its draft recommendations, if adopted,
would dramatically transform the structure and dynamics of the
racing and wagering industry, result in significant changes in the
gaming industry's approach to harm minimisation and reintroduce
online gaming into Australia.
Some particularly noteworthy draft recommendations made by the
Racing and Wagering
generally, a push to a free national market and the removal of
protectionist state-based arrangements;
the Federal Government, in consultation with State and
Territory governments, to develop a national funding model for the
racing industry, including the implementation of national
legislation to replace current State and Territory
the key element of the proposed national funding model is a
levy based on gross revenue (not turnover) to be paid to the racing
industry by wagering operators;
a new national independent authority rather than the racing
industry to determine and periodically review the levy in
consultation with gamblers, wagering operators and the racing
inducements and credit betting to be allowed subject to certain
the ACCC to look at potential anti-competitive effects of
current Sky Channel ownership by Tabcorp;
non-renewal of exclusive totalisator licences; and
change in existing funding arrangements to reflect the market
share of the relevant racing provider.
repeal the Interactive Gambling Act and the current ban on
online gaming, and in consultation with State and Territory
governments, develop a regime which allows for the managed
liberalisation of online gaming in Australia, including a strict
regime of consumer protection, with stringent probity and harm
a progressive move to a universal pre-commitment system to be
in place by 2016, that will allow players to set spending limits on
a maximum bet limit of $1 for gaming machines to reduce harm
from high intensity gambling without impacting significantly on
a maximum limit on the amount of cash that can be inserted into
gaming machines of $20 to slow play by problem gamblers;
shutdown periods for gaming machines to commence earlier and
continue for a longer period; and
the possible introduction of a new statutory cause of action
for consumers to seek compensation and the imposition of penalties
against venue-based gambling providers who breach appropriate
standards of behaviour (for example, improper use of inducements to
What happens next?
The Commission is seeking written responses by Friday 18
December 2009, and will be conducting public hearings during
November and December. We urge everyone in the industry to consider
making a submission. The final report will be sent to the
Australian Government by 26 February, 2010.
We will provide an in-depth analysis of the proposals in our
next edition of Leisure and Entertainment Insights.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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