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Australian gambling companies questioned about blocking winning players



Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impact, which was launched in September last year, has now commenced public hearings.

Today (April 4th), the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs commenced public hearings for their investigation into the impact of online gambling. During the first session, evidence was presented indicating that certain online gambling companies may have lowered maximum bets or restricted access for individuals who were experiencing a winning streak.

During a hearing in Canberra, Peta Murphy MP, who chairs the Committee, disclosed that she knew someone who had personally encountered this treatment. She directed inquiries regarding this matter to SportsBet and Entain, the parent company of Ladbrokes and Neds.

As per the report by ABC, Barni Evans, the CEO of SportsBet, stated that customers were only blocked in specific instances. For example, if a customer was acting based on information that the rest of the market was unaware of or if their behavior had an adverse impact on other customers’ experiences.


During the hearing, Steven Lang, the CEO of Entain, disclosed that out of 698,000 active customers in 2022, 176,000 had made money. Additionally, he acknowledged that bets may be restricted in some cases.

Nick Minchin, the chair of the Responsible Wagering Australia lobby group that represents much of the gambling industry, stated that excluding successful gamblers was not a common practice in the industry. However, he acknowledged that there may be instances where a customer is excluded.

The CEOs of the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) also attended the committee hearing. The Coalition of Major Participation and Professional Sports, which includes the NRL and AFL, expressed their disagreement with calls for regulatory changes, asserting that the current regulations were suitable.

During the hearing, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan clarified his previous remarks made in an interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW three weeks ago. McLachlan had previously expressed empathy for fans who were frustrated with betting ads. However, he now stated that his remarks were made in the context of time constraints during the interview and that his concern was with betting inducements, not general brand advertising.


Andrew Abdo, the CEO of the NRL, expressed openness to potential adjustments in regulations, but he did not provide any specific recommendations for changes to advertising restrictions or other regulations. Abdo acknowledged that change was possible and that the NRL was receptive to feedback and learning from the public inquiry. However, he emphasized that any changes should be made in a balanced way.

During the committee hearing, Anna Bligh, the CEO of the Australian Banking Association, informed the members that approximately 500,000 Australians had requested their banks to block their gambling expenses using a self-exclusion tool. This tool, known as a “self-veto,” enables individuals to take control of their gambling behavior by restricting their access to funds for gambling purposes.

The inquiry is anticipated to release its recommendations by the middle of this year. The suggestions could have far-reaching impacts on the online gambling industry in Australia, as some groups are pushing for stricter regulations to safeguard vulnerable gamblers. The implications of the recommendations could impact the industry’s advertising practices, treatment of successful gamblers, and overall regulation of the sector.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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