Gaming regulators in Victoria are warning local sports clubs not to enter into deals with sports betting operators that pay out cash for every club member who signs up. The incentive deals, which are commonplace in other countries, are strictly forbidden in Victoria where anti-gambling forces hold great sway, and could cause real problems for team operators down the road.
Earlier this month, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) announced that several clubs were in violation of Section 4.7.10 of the Gambling Regulation Act of 2003. That’s the section barring financial inducements for opening a sports betting account.
What has regulators concerned are deals that pay out clubs a flat fee for every club member who opens an account. In a statement to the press, commissioners said deals like that constitute a violation of teams’ social licenses and would take a zero-tolerance approach to the practice moving forward adding, “The VGCCC demands wagering service providers cease promoting their products in this manner as they may be in breach of legislation by doing so, in addition to being inconsistent with their social licence to minimise harm,” the VGCCC said in a statement.
“The VGCCC doesn’t just hold gambling providers to the minimum letter of the law – but their social licence as well.”
If club owners are smart, they’ll know that the VGCCC is not playing around here. Since taking control of all gaming regulation in Victoria in 2022, commissioners have introduced regulation limiting access to pokies and restricting wagering on youth sports. The commission maintains that it is acting in the best interest of Australia’s youth and other vulnerable population segments.