The government of Queensland has announced a plan to ban online betting inducements to try and get a handle on problem gambling. Lawmakers within Australia’s third-largest state have drafted legislation that will minimize harm from gambling among residents.
With the legislation, a ban is planned on free bonus offers as well as other inducements provided by operators offering online sports wagering services in the state. The ban covers vouchers, rewards, credits and other benefits. The change follows the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering that was approved back in December 2018.
The universal law requires that states ban iGambling offers provided to gamblers that open an account with an operator. This would be considered a welcome bonus. Referring a friend offers are also supposed to be banned.
Queensland is taking an additional step and looking to ban offers made to bettors who want to close their accounts or unsubscribe from marketing. Operators often provide bonuses or other promotions in order to keep players from leaving or not receiving such communication.
Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath commented that efforts are being made in the online sector because this area has a 3x higher problem gambling rate than other sectors. The government is working hard to get a handle on the rate and see it lowered.
D’Ath commented further that inducements offered in the state contribute to excessive and unsafe gambling levels. The Queensland government already provides over A$6.7 million to help problem gambling behavior via Gambling Help Services. They are now trying to take a legal approach to ensure that players remain protected, especially if they wish to exclude themselves from online gambling services.
This news comes as Australians have been trying to find online casinos to access amidst the covid-19 pandemic. Casinos were shut down from February to June as the virus became an issue. Australia currently has online casinos listed as a banned activity in the country.