Victoria regulator to prohibit wagers on minors in sports events


Victoria has followed up on the introduction of a raft of reforms targeting electronic gaming machines by cracking down on wagering on minors in sporting events, with it warned that revocation of approvals could ensue for non-compliance.

This has seen the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission ban betting on all under 19 sports competitions, as well as the performance of individual players who are under 18 in junior and senior sport. 

The letters state: “The VGCCC is of the view that betting on contingencies in sporting events relating to the performance of an individual minor in that sporting event is contrary to the public interest.” It is added that this also poses potential integrity and gambling related harm concerns.

Further issues highlighted by the regulator of the Australian state are the potential susceptibility of minors should an approach seeking to undermine the integrity of a sporting event be undertaken, as well as the potential of normalising gambling on events involving children. 

The prohibition outlaws wagers on sports where all participants are minors, events for under-19s and open events where minors are playing. The ban will be in place for specific outcomes, such as first goal and wicket, however, they can still be made on team sports when minors may be playing. 

Numerous sporting bodies have subsequently been informed to ensure that agreements with betting providers to ensure the subsequent updates are in place, with a 60 day compliance requirement being implemented.

The ruling follows letters sent by the VGCCC to sports controlling bodies in February reminding them of their obligations in relation to sports integrity, and requesting information about the potential of restricting certain markets.

“The idea that it is okay to bet on minors just doesn’t stand up. We think minors deserve to be protected. It also raises integrity issues, with the prospect of people attempting to influence how minors might behave playing sport,” commented Fran Thorn, VGCCC Chair.

“If sports controlling bodies and betting providers do not comply with this decision we will take action, which may include revoking our approval of sports controlling bodies and prosecuting betting providers.”  

Last month, the VGCCC detailed EGM reforms that will limit how much players can stake, when they can do so and the speed of which it can be undertaken.

As disclosed by Premier Daniel Andrews and Melissa Horne, Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, the changes are charged with introducing additional protections to build on those already introduced.