NSW government warns industry over responsible gambling messaging

The New South Wales government has issued a reminder to those that boast operations within the Australian state to ensure that responsible gambling messages “are communicated effectively in advertising”.

The warning about going cold on such messaging follows a pair of show cause notices being issued, to Unibet and Betr, by Liquor & Gaming NSW for illegal inducements and  breaches of wagering laws in its promotional material, respectively.

The requirement to include standardised responsible gambling messages in advertising is part of the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering in Australia.

This intends to “provide strong, nationally consistent minimum protections for consumers of interactive wagering services” that are licensed within the country.

The local regulator, which has voiced concerns on a number of issues across recent weeks, including the potential of venue closures to address worries over EGM usage, is responsible for ensuring compliance with the NCPF.

This includes ensuring that operators in the state comply with various measures in the Framework, including responsible gambling messaging.

Liquor & Gaming NSW can take a range of disciplinary actions, such as prosecution, if there is evidence operators have failed in their responsibility to provide clear harm reduction messaging under the NCPF. Guilty parties can face penalties up to $110,000.

Jane Lin, Liquor & Gaming NSW Executive Director of Regulatory Operations & Enforcement,, noted that operators need to give appropriate time and space within advertising material to responsible messages in a bid to reduce the risk of harm.

“In one instance, the responsible gambling message was barely audible – while the rest of the ad could be heard loud and clear,” she commented.

“Another operator drastically changed the tone of the voice-over when the message was spoken, going from strong and confident to soft and passive.

“We urge gambling operators and their creative agencies to advertise responsibly and make sure content is in the spirit of providing a clear harm reduction message to consumers and the broader community.

“Betting operators have a vital role to play in reducing risk of gambling harm, and it starts with how they advertise.”