Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) has partnered with NSW GambleAware Week 2023, as part of its commitment to responsible gambling practices.
The theme for this year’s GambleAware week is “What’s gambling costing you?” – a question aimed at raising awareness about available support services.
Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, emphasised the significance of this event, calling it an important time to reflect on personal gambling habits, reach out to friends and family and spread awareness about the assistance services available.
Kai Cantwell said: “This year, many RWA members will be advertising GambleAware Week within their apps and on their websites.
“Customers who go to place a bet will see GambleAware Week being promoted, and links to GambleAware support services, along with the usual safer gambling messaging and prompts to set a deposit limit.
“RWA members are proud to set the industry standard for keeping customers safe, going well beyond the requirements set by governments.
“The biggest risk to safe gambling in Australia is offshore operators enticing Australians to gamble through illegal promotions.
“While RWA members and other licensed wagering service providers are working hard to ensure Australia has the safest gambling market in the world, these operators don’t adhere to any Australian laws, evading taxes, and failing to protect customers.”
The growing offshore market currently makes up 15% of the entire Australian market, is valued at over $1.63 billion annually and could cost the Australian economy up to $3 billion from 2022 to 2027.
While illegally provided, these sites are accessible to Australians and promoted with strong incentives, providing no deterrent for consumers.
“Illegal operators have stopped people withdrawing their winnings and have targeted advertising to underage Australians on social media platforms,” Mr Cantwell said.
“They also represent one of the biggest threats to Australian sport and racing by way of match fixing and race-rigging, with Australian authorities unable to monitor and combat illegal actors.
“RWA supports all government efforts to combat illegal offshore providers and reminds customers to visit ACMA.gov.au if they aren’t sure if a site is legal.
“Evidence from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway shows that excessive regulation of advertising and products that onshore providers are allowed to offer will drive Australians towards illegal alternatives as Australians don’t know what sites are legal and safe to use.
“RWA members will continue to work with governments and industry to develop balanced policies that keep customers safe and ensure that taxes and fees that onshore operators are required to pay continue to flow back into the Australian economy.”