Victorian Government to Curb Gambling Advertising in Public Spaces

A new gambling regulation bill has been in the works in the Australian state of Victoria, which, among other things, seeks to restrict sports betting-related advertisements in public spaces, local media reports.

Victorian lawmakers have explained that the bill will likely be introduced in October and will come as the government’s response to growing community concerns over the distribution of gambling-related advertising content and its influence on vulnerable members of the state’s population.

The bill amend Victoria’s current regulations by introducing strict limitations on all types of static gambling advertising. For instance, it will ban betting ads in public transport, on roads, and within a 150-meter distance from schools.

Marlene Kairouz, Victoria’s Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, told media that recent research showed that three quarters of interviewed children between 8 and 16 considered betting a normal part of sports and that two-thirds of those interviewed could name at least one gambling brand servicing local customers. The gambling lawmaker pointed out that the research in question was among the things that spurred discussions about future changes in the way gambling activities are advertised in the state.

Ms. Kairouz further dwelt that Victoria aims to set a regulatory path that should be followed by other Australian states and eventually by Premier Malcolm Turnbull’s federal government.

The Victorian Government’s Stance on Betting on Lotteries

As reported by local media, the Government of Victoria will also seek to curb the operations of international operators that target customers with betting on the outcome of domestic and foreign lotteries. These curbs will be presented as provisions of the above-mentioned Gambling Regulation Amendment Bill 2017 and as amendments of the state’s Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

Casino News Daily reported earlier this week that growing complaints by local lottery retailers have resulted in the governments of three Australian states considering the introduction of limitations on the provision of lottery betting services from unlicensed international companies.

Lottoland, the Gibraltar-based lottery betting company, was actually the one to come under fire for its operations in Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. According to comments from opponents of its practices, it has been misleading players by providing them with insufficient and oftentimes confusing information about its business model and activities. Owners of local lottery retail networks, have also been complaining that Lottoland has been hurting their own businesses and has been operating without holding a license and, unlike them, without paying taxes to the state.

According to reports from Victorian media, the soon-to-be-introduced Gambling Regulation Amendment Bill 2017 will not target only betting on lottery services but also other gambling activities that could be posing serious threat to the well-being of state residents, particularly the most vulnerable portion of them.

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