Australia Cracks Down On Player ID

Elouise Spencer - 07 March 2019

Australia has launched a major crackdown on the gambling industry in an attempt to eradicate the effects of problem gambling from the country. Operators are naturally the first point of defence and one of the major changes that has now been instituted by government authorities is the fact that online casinos will no longer have 3 months’ worth of leeway in terms of player identification verification. The time period has been shortened quite significantly to 14 days (two weeks).

Federal Minister for Social Services, Paul Fletcher, points out that this is a very necessary first step towards more effective control in the industry. As it stands, according to Fletcher, 240,000 people living in Australia are currently at a high risk of developing serious problem behaviour. Compulsive habits on the part of these players are a big problem for the government, as it considers the protection of vulnerable members of society to be a top priority.

Focusing on Under Age Players

A report commissioned by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation recently revealed that 25% of all people placing their first sports bets are under the age of 18. In Australia, the legal gambling age is 18. Furthermore, 70% of these under-age bettors are facing significant challenges caused by the negative effects of having been allowed to engage in wagering activities at a very young age.

According to the Executive Director of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Tony Mohr, the previous time-frame limit of 3 months wasn’t effective at all, as during the initial period, players aren’t excluded from signing up and placing bets and wagers. This essentially came down to the fact that anyone, regardless of their age, so long as they had a bank account registered in their name or access to a credit card, was fully able and enabled to gamble and place bets at their leisure.

Three Months Too Long A Rope

Three months is sufficient time to not only lose large amounts of money; and this is often the case with under-age and inexperienced gamblers; but also to develop a real and dangerous addiction to gambling.

Whilst shortening the ID-verification time period to two weeks will not mean the end of all compulsive gambling in the country, it certainly will go a long way towards serving the bigger purpose.