Australian online gambling operators are looking at a whole slew of new regulations and taxes as 2017 draws to a close. The new regulations are part of an ongoing effort by Australian lawmakers to exert more control over an industry they see as operating without proper regulatory boundaries.

The first big hit to the Aussie facing gambling industry came late last week when lawmakers in Western Australia revealed a plan to tax operators at the point-of-consumption level. This new tax doesn’t take effect until January, 2019, but will certainly have a major impact on bookmakers serving Western Australians.

Not surprisingly, Western Australia’s big tax plan didn’t sit well with the gambling industry representatives who run the pro-industry group Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA). They claim that not only will the real cost of the tax be more like 40%, they also warn that the bulk of its costs will be borne by the very people the tax is supposedly designed to protect, Australian gamblers.

On federal level, it looks like Australia’s bookmakers may have to start rethinking the way they promote their businesses. During a recent gathering of stated and federal ministers, the topic of promotions came up and the results are not likely to please anyone who’s currently tasked with harvesting new punters for their sportsbook.

Though the ministers didn’t come to any formal conclusions, the tenor of their conversation was enough to make a bookmaker’s blood run cold. Their proposals included a ban on referral programs and sign-up bonuses. The ministers also suggested that operators limit their marketing efforts to punters who opt-in to receive them.

All told, Australia is rapidly turning into a market that’s very difficult for gambling operators.

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