Online gambling protections and lines of credit

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 16 August 2017 and amended the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 from 13 September 2017 to implement online gambling protections.

The amendments prohibit wagering operators from providing or offering credit, in connection with certain interactive wagering services, to customers that are physically present in Australia.

Wagering operators are prohibited from promoting or facilitating the provision of credit (other than by way of credit card) via third parties, in connection with such services (the exception for credit cards will not apply in relation to credit cards issued by gambling service providers or by related companies).

The Act provides criminal and civil penalties for contravention of the credit prohibition.

There is a six month transition period to allow industry and customers to adjust their business and betting practices for these two measures.

Online gambling and AML

Commonwealth and state and territory ministers recently agreed to reduce the current 90-day verification timeframe for customer verification to a maximum 14-day timeframe to continue using an online wagering account. This measure will take effect through Commonwealth Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Rules and will be operational by March 2018.

Wagering operators must return deposited funds and close an account immediately if customer verification identifies a person is under 18 years of age or self-excluded.

Winnings are not able to be withdrawn prior to identity verification.

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