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Victoria Launches Inquiry into Bingo Regulation

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Victoria, Australia Launches New Inquiry into Bingo Regulation

Victoria’s Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has announced a new inquiry into the regulation of the state’s bingo industry. This significant move aims to tackle various challenges within the sector, including the modernization of bingo operations and the potential for criminal exploitation.

Learn about the VGCCC’s plans to assess current bingo regulations, the impact of technological advancements on the game, and the effectiveness of profits in supporting community organizations. Discover how this inquiry might reshape the future of bingo in Victoria and enhance the industry’s integrity.

Understand the implications of this inquiry for players, operators, and community organizations. Stay informed on potential regulatory changes and their impact on the broader gambling landscape in Australia.

Join the conversation and participate in the VGCCC’s inquiry. Share your experiences and insights to help shape the future of bingo regulation in Victoria.

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Victoria, Australia Launches New Inquiry into Bingo Regulation

Victoria’s Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has launched an inquiry into the state’s bingo regulation as of June 6. This initiative aims to deepen the Commission’s understanding of the sector’s challenges and explore ways to enhance regulatory and industry practices.

Exploring Current Regulations and Industry Practices

The inquiry will investigate whether the existing rules governing bingo are fit for purpose and examine the vulnerability of cash-based transactions to criminal exploitation. It will also assess how bingo profits are utilized to support community organizations, ensuring they are used effectively and ethically.

Fran Thorn, the Commission’s chair, emphasized the need to modernize the regulatory framework to keep pace with industry advancements. “In recent years, the commercial bingo landscape has modernized, transitioning from traditional paper-based gameplay to electronic enhancements with substantial jackpots,” Thorn said.

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Addressing Fairness, Integrity, and Gambling Harm

Given these changes, Thorn highlighted the importance of assessing issues of fairness, integrity, and potential gambling harm, especially among vulnerable groups such as seniors, First Nations communities, women, and lower-income individuals. “Despite regulatory oversight, we continue to receive reports and allegations of unlicensed operators and potentially fraudulent activities,” she added.

The inquiry represents an opportunity to understand how bingo is evolving with technology and to address the current risk landscape. The VGCCC has invited all interested parties and stakeholders, including customers, industry participants, community organizations, and concerned citizens, to participate in the inquiry.

Bingo Revenue in Victoria

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In FY23, Victoria’s bingo revenue stood at A$107 million, significantly higher than the A$61 million generated by Keno during the same period. This underscores the importance of ensuring that the bingo industry operates fairly and transparently.

Australia’s Regulatory Tightening

If the inquiry recommends stricter rules, it will be part of a broader trend of regulatory tightening in Australia’s gambling sector. This comes amid the government’s consideration of a total advertising ban, as recommended by a parliamentary gambling harms inquiry in June 2023.

Labor MP Peta Murphy, who chaired the inquiry, stated, “It is absolutely clear that it is not just community members who are concerned about the proliferation of sports betting advertisements and the increasing engagement of young people in sports betting.”

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The VGCCC itself has called on the Albanese government to implement such a ban, highlighting the growing concern over gambling harms in the community. Other recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry include a ban on inducements, an online harms reduction strategy, and the introduction of national bet limits.

Industry Reactions and Implications

The possibility of tighter national regulation is speculated to have influenced recent industry decisions. For instance, the merger of BlueBet and Betr into a single company in April is thought to be a strategic move in response to the anticipated regulatory changes.

The VGCCC’s inquiry into bingo regulation is part of a broader effort to ensure the gambling industry in Victoria operates with the highest standards of fairness and integrity. As the inquiry progresses, it will be crucial for all stakeholders to engage actively and provide their insights and feedback.

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Conclusion

The VGCCC’s inquiry into bingo regulation marks a pivotal moment for the gambling industry in Victoria. By addressing modern challenges and potential risks, the Commission aims to create a more robust and transparent regulatory framework. This will not only protect vulnerable groups but also ensure that the industry continues to support community organizations effectively.

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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