Tighter regulation expected for bookmaking industry

Australia’s bookmaking industry is expected to see a more restrictive regulatory regime when it comes to online gambling.

The statement was made by gaming law firm Addisons, which released a Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter on Wednesday.

Addisons said one of the most significant changes in the industry will occur with the passing of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill.

“The amendments strengthen the prohibitions in the IGA which target the supply of online gambling services by offshore gambling operators to persons present in Australia. This is demonstrated by the significant penalties that have been introduced and the enhanced powers and enforcement tools granted to the ACMA in respect of contraventions of the IGA,” said Addison lawyer Jamie Nettleton and others, adding that it is likely to be passed in the next Parliamentary session.

The new GST regime will also deal a blow to offshore operators, as it applies to the offshore supply of digital services. The new GST came into effect on July 1, requiring all overseas-based suppliers of services and digital products to Australian consumers to register for GST and comply with GST reporting requirements. This includes overseas-based suppliers of gambling services.

The law firm also notes that the point of consumption tax that was most recently launched in South Australia, if replicated in other states, “will pose significant economic implications for Australia’s sports bookmaking sector.”

NSW and Victoria government has already shown their support for the POC tax, it added.

Other areas of concern include increased restrictions in the broadcasting of gambling advertisements, as well as stronger consumer protection regulations.

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