News

Changes coming in on 1 July 2016
[30 June 2016]

For casino and gaming stakeholders, the Office for Problem Gambling has advised of the approval of new campaign material (relevant to the in-venue messaging obligations) to be additional material for display. The formal approval starts on 1 July 2016 and distribution will be via the usual channels. A sample of the material is here. OPG has also confirmed continuation of the present multilingual sign.

The Gambling Codes of Practice Notice 2013 will be republished on 1 July 2016, incorporating variations made to the account based gambling rules for wagering and public lotteries, and additional rules for the extension of credit to account holders (where the licensee is permitted to offer credit). As with all changes to the codes of practice, gambling providers who are not ready should immediately request a tramsitional dispensation.

The account gambling changes are quite significant, and gambling providers which have not yet considered their implications need to do so as a matter of urgency.

There is also a minor change to the obligations of the casino licensee with respect to training.

The Gambling Codes of Practice Notice 2013 will next be updated for the pending predictive monitoring changes, which commence on 1 October 2016.

 

Tax to be levied on "place of consumption" basis on betting activity from 1 July 2017
[23 June 2016]

The South Australian Government has announced a budget measure to tax all lawful wagering permitted by the Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000 on a place of consumption basis, from 1 July 2017.

The tax of 15% (subject to an annual threshold of $150,000 net wagering revenue) will apply to all betting transactions with people located in South Australia regardless of which Australian jurisdiction the gambling provider is licensed in. (Gambling by overseas licensed operators is illegal and both the operator and the bettor commit and offence if a bet is transacted.)

More detail is available from the Treasurer's News Release.

 

Betting contingencies—approvals republished
[17 June 2016]

Under South Australian law, wagering providers (whether licensed in this State or operating as authorised interstate betting operators) may take bets on races conducted by licensed racing clubs and on contingencies approved by the Independent Gambling Authority under section 4 of the Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000. The Authority has now remade the contingency approvals in an instrument titled the Approved Betting Contingencies Notice 2016

There is also an explanatory memorandum available on the 2016 gazettals page.

The key features of this notice are that it brings together all of the approvals (previously in four instruments), that it brings in various bet types approved in principle but not formalised and that nothing has been omitted from any of the past notices, although the opportunity has been taken to restructure some of the sections.

The key compliance issue for wagering providers is to ensure that bets are only being taken in relation to approved contingencies (or races conducted by licensed racing clubs). Anything not covered is not allowed and, therefore, unlawful gambling.

The Authority will be undertaking furether work on bet types during 2016.
 

Red-tape reduction—copies of codes of practice
[9 June 2016]

With the publication of the Gambling Codes of Practice (General) Variation Notice 2016, gambling providers will no longer need to provide a copy of the whole code of practice on request if they have an approved summary available. Of course, the codes are an essential document for gambling providers to have on premises (so that they can know what their obligations are), but they will no longer be required to keep a current printed version available to provide on request.

Peak bodies are able to obtain approval of a summary on behalf of those they represent. Anyone interested in developing a code summary should contact the Authority's Director.

 

Predictive monitoring consultation finalised
[9 June 2016]

The Independent Gambling Authority has now completed the consultation process by which it further considered the requirement that gambling loyalty programs include a facility for the predictive monitoring of the patterns of gamblers' play with purpose of intervening in cases where there is a risk of problem gambling. The act of completion was the publishing of a variation notice to the relevant codes of practice in the Government Gazette.

The relevant provisions were part of the Gambling Code of Practice Notice 2013, when it was prescribed in December 2013. Unlike the rest of the codes, which commenced on 1 March 2014, these loyalty program provisions had a long commencement date of 1 January 2016. However, the Authority—having become aware that some providers had issues with the requirements and would not be ready on that date—varied the Notice to defer commencement to 1 July 2016 and commenced the consultation process with a call for submissions to a hearing in November 2015. The Authority heard from gambling providers, system providers and other interested parties (including experts) and determined that some form of predictive monitoring was feasible by the extended date. It accepted that it would help gambling providers to be more prescriptive aout what woudl be compliant and set this out in a formal decision in mid-December 2015.

On 5 February 2016, the Authority released the technical wording of the relevant code variations notice to prescribe guidance as to minimum standards for compliant loyalty programs. A lengthy process of representations and further representations followed the release of that draft. While the time taken in these considerations was necessary, the Authority understood that the absence of the anticipated further regulatory action may have generated some uncertainty. The Authority is also aware that at least one sector of the South Australian gambling industry would not be ready to offer the facility in its loyalty programs on 1 July 2016.

Accordingly, the Authority has determined to extend that prescribed commencement date to 1 October 2016. The other proposed provisions of the variation notice are proceeding as originally circulated. The formal title of the statutory instrument is the Gambling Codes of Practice (General) Variation Notice 2016. The variations have been compiled into the Gambling Codes of Practice Notice 2013.

The Authority believes that gambling providers can comply with the new requirements by implementing a relatively simple report on a monthly basis. However, it is open to applications for transitional dispensations if these are received prior to the 1 October 2016 commencement date. Applications will have to explain the nature of the problem and propose a timeframe for implementation which demonstrates expedition and diligence. (Dispensation applications should cite clause 7(1)(d) of the Gambling Codes of Practice Notice, which provides for time limited or transitional dispensations in relation to a new requirement or obligation.)

 

Betting approved for Marree "picnic" race meeting—11 June 2016
[2 June 2016] 

On 30 May 2016, the Authority formally approved the taking of bets by licensed bookmakers on the picnic race meeting being held at Marree on 11 June 2016. The notice was published in today's Government Gazette (and is available from the gazetted instruments page).

As the Marree Picnic Race Club is not a licensed racing club, special contingency approval is required to allow betting on this traditional activity. The contingencies are not approved for Ubet or authoirsed interstate betting operators and, in practice, betting will be limited to a bookmaker at the racecourse. 

 

Recognition of industry bodies extended by 12 months
[26 May 2016]

Club Safe and Gaming Care are industry bodies recognised under section 10B of the Gaming Machines Act 1992 for the purposes of the responsible gambling agreement scheme referred to in the Act and in the codes of practice.

Initially regulated as approved intervention agencies under the codes of practice, their role was given a statutory setting in changes to legislation made on 1 June 2011. On that day, each was formally recognised for a 5 year period. Noting that the currently pending social effect certificate process has featured submissions on the role and function of these bodies (see the item below—Deferral of 5 year review—social effect inquiry process and principles, 25 May 2016), the Authority has determined to defer a comprehensive renewal process in step with its deferral of the 5 year review.

The Authority has regular and constructive engagement with both bodies at both operational and executive levels. While periodic review and renewal is important, this deferral will not diminish the efficacy of the approved intervention agency initiative (which was comprehensively canvassed, and affirmed, in the 2011–13 codes of practice review).

 

Deferral of 5 year review—social effect inquiry process and principles
[25 May 2016]

The Authority has formally commenced and deferred a statutory review of the inquiry process and principles prescribed for the purposes of the social effect certificate application process under the Gaming Machines Act 1992.

Application for a social effect certificate is the first step in process by which gaming machines can be licensed in hotel or club premises. If a social effect certificate is granted, the applicant then applies for a premises certificate which sets out how the completed premises will address the integrity and operational requirements of the regulatory regime. Once the premises have been altered or built to conform with the premises certificate, a gaming machine licence wil be granted.

The prescribed inquiry process guides the discovery activities which precede the making of the application and the prescribed principles guide the making of the decision. So far, one application has been made for a social effect certificate. A decision has not yet been made.

Section 10A of the Gaming Machines Act, under which the process and principles are prescribed, requires the Authority to undertake a review—with public consultation—every 5 years.

The Authority has determined that it will not commence substantial work on the review until after the pending applications for a social effect certificate has been resolved. It will receive, and hold, any representations made now. The Authority has also deferred its consideration of the form of the responsible gambling agreement prescribed under the Gaming Machines Act as the application process has included submissions about the role of industry bodies under the agreement.