The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in Australia launched an inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on people with gambling problems.

Chair of the Committee, Peta Murphy MP, said ‘the inquiry will be a fresh look at online gambling and whether current laws, regulations, consumer protections, and education and support programs are enough to reduce harm to gamblers.’

‘The Committee is concerned about the increasing reach of online gambling platforms into Australians’ lives, the exposure of children and young people to gambling advertising, and how this may contribute to increases in problem gambling in the future,’ MP Peta Murphy said.

The Committee is seeking written submissions, ideally of no more than ten pages, from individuals and organizations providing recommendations relating to any or all of the inquiry terms of reference by 11 November 2022. 

The Committee will examine:

  • the effectiveness of existing consumer protections aimed at reducing online problem gambling;
  • how to better target programs to address online problem gambling to reduce the potential exploitation of at-risk people and protect individuals, families, and communities;
  • the effectiveness of current counseling and support services to address online problem gambling;
  • the quality of and access to protective online gambling education programs;
  • the impact of current regulatory and licensing regimes for online gambling on the effectiveness of harm minimization and consumer protection efforts;
  • the appropriateness of the definition of ‘gambling service’ in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth), and whether it should be amended to capture additional gambling-like activities such as simulated gambling in video games (e.g. ‘loot boxes’ and social casino games);
  • the appropriateness of current gambling regulations in light of emerging technologies, payment options and products;
  • the effectiveness of protections against illegal online gambling services, including casino style gambling such as online blackjack and slot machines;
  • the effectiveness of current gambling advertising restrictions on limiting children’s exposure to gambling products and services (e.g. promotion of betting odds during live sport broadcasts), including consideration of the impact of advertising through social media, sponsorship or branding from online licensed gambling operators, and any other related matters.

Further information about the inquiry, including published submissions and hearing transcripts, will be available on the inquiry webpage.