NSW has implemented important reforms to secure the integrity of gambling on sporting and racing events and reduce the harms associated with problem gambling.
These reforms regulate betting on sporting events in line with the National Operational Model for sports betting agreed to by all Australian Sports Ministers in September 2011, which is part of the National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport agreed to by all Australian Sports Ministers in June 2011.
The Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014 (the Act) was assented to on 5 June 2014 and commenced on 18 December 2015. It is supported by the Racing Administration Amendment Regulation 2015 and the Totalizator Amendment Regulation 2015.
The Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014 renames theRacing Administration Act 1998 as the Betting and Racing Act 1998, to better reflect the nature of the matters regulated by that Act. The Racing Administration Amendment Regulation 2015 likewise updates the name of the Racing Administration Regulation 2012 to the Betting and Racing Regulation 2012, in keeping with the principal Act.
The legislative reforms regulate the interaction between sporting organisations and betting service providers, provide a framework for the establishment of integrity agreements between sports controlling bodies and betting service providers, and outline fundamental requirements for betting on sporting events.
They aim to strengthen the integrity of both the sporting events themselves as well as the associated betting that occurs on those events.
The reforms impose new prohibitions on gambling advertising in NSW during sporting events, and amend existing criminal offences relating to the advertising of gambling inducements.
Under the changes:
From 18 December 2015, it will be an offence for a betting service provider to offer a betting service (in NSW or elsewhere) in relation to a NSW sporting event unless that betting service provider is licensed in an Australian jurisdiction. In addition, if there is a prescribed sports controlling body for the event, there must be an integrity agreement meeting the requirements of the Act in place between that sports controlling body and the licensed betting service provider. Commission of this offence will attract a penalty of up to $11,000 for a corporation and $5,500 or 12 months imprisonment for an individual.
From 4 January 2016, NSW will amend an existing ban on advertising gambling inducements under the Betting and Racing Regulation 2012 (and Totalizator Regulation 2012) so that it captures all types of inducements offered to NSW residents. Previously it was limited to inducements in the form of any 'credit, voucher or reward'. The maximum penalty of up to $5,500 for breaches will remain in place.
From 1 March 2016, it will be an offence in NSW to publish gambling advertising during a sporting fixture where the advertising relates to that fixture, and where there is a prescribed sports controlling body for the sporting event. This includes the promotion of live odds relating to sporting fixtures while they are underway. Exemptions will apply to fixtures that run for more than four hours or over multiple days unless it is determined that the exemption is not in the best interests of the public. This new offence, with criminal breaches attracting a maximum penalty of $5,500, will apply to any person who publishes prohibited gambling advertising – including wagering operators, broadcasters, commentators or others.