The Queensland Government has finally moved on bonus bets, free bets, and bookmaker signup bonuses. Queensland will join New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia in banning any inducements to open accounts or signup at online bookmakers
The Palaszczuk Government has introduced draft legislation in State Parliament to deliver stronger consumer protections for Queenslanders gambling with online bookmakers.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the proposed laws were aimed squarely at minimising gambling harm to Queenslanders, and are consistent with the National Gambling Framework guidelines which were the death knell for free bets.
“The rate of online problem gambling is three times higher than other types of gambling and we’re determined to drive this rate down,” she said.
“We know that inducements to open an account, such as free bonus bets, are being offered by some online wagering operators and that this is contributing to excessive and unsafe gambling levels.
“That’s why we’re introducing a ban on inducements to open a betting account with an online wagering provider.
“Inducements for referring a friend to open an account will also be banned.”
The proposed ban on online wagering inducements to open an account was agreed between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments under the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering signed in November 2018.
The Attorney-General said the Palaszczuk Government was going even further than the national framework by moving to ban inducements offered to punters to stop them closing a betting account or from unsubscribing from direct marketing.
“This is all part of the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle problem gambling and the harm it causes,” she said.
The Queensland Government provides more than $6.7 million each year for Gambling Help Services (GHS) to assist those who experience problems with gambling.
These services include face-to-face counselling, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week telephone helpline, the Gambling Help Online counselling service, as well as counselling in alcohol and other drug support services.