Bookies face restrictions on bonusing

Australia’s online bookmakers will be banned from offering several types of inducements after new rules were agreed to by state and federal ministers on Friday.

According to the Herald Sun, a landmark agreement will see operators such as Sportsbet, William Hill and Crownbet no longer allowed to entice punters to open new accounts or referring friends via bonuses or inducements.  

The new rules also state that any winnings from bonus bets must be able to be withdrawn without any strings attached. It also stipulates that that punters must be given easy access to account closure information.

Federal Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the limits on inducements were sensible so people “aren’t encouraged to spend more money when they may already be in trouble”.

“Many Australians enjoy a punt, but we want to ensure there are reasonable protections in place and that individuals have greater control over their gambling expenditure,” he added.

Punters must also now “opt in” in order to receive marketing deals and offers.

“Online gambling is growing faster than any other form … the gambling problems of the future will all come from the online space if we don’t put sensible protections in place now,” Mr Tudge said.