Home NewsE-Sports Australian Government tightens up on video games that contain gambling

Australian Government tightens up on video games that contain gambling

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The Australian government announced that it will tighten restrictions on games with gambling-like contents to protect children against gambling-related harm.

These games will have to be classified at a minimum by September 2024. The update comes as a result of all Australian states and territories agreeing to the Guidelines for Classification of Computer Games, 2023.

In Australia, this rating is referred to as’mature.’ This means that games under 15 years of age are not suitable for kids.

Legally, computer games that simulate gambling such as social casinos will only be available to adults. The minimum rating for these games is R18+.

The government cited recent research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies in announcing its decision. The study found that young adults who had played gambling simulation games were 40% more likely than other young adults to gamble real money.

Before making any changes to the video game guidelines, the government said that it had consulted with several parties. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, key stakeholders in the industry and within the community as well as the Classification Board were all consulted.

Michelle Rowland, MP and Minister for Communications, stated that the government was determined to protect Australians who are vulnerable from harms associated with gambling, including those children exposed to video games.

I thank all the states and territory for their support in making real changes, which will help protect our children against gambling-like material through this change to our classification system.

Research shows that gambling content in children’s media may increase their vulnerability to harm from gambling later on. Our goal is to protect children by intervening early.

These changes are part of our efforts to modernise and improve the National Classification Scheme, so Australians and their children can better make informed decisions about what they watch and read.

The ongoing fight against gambling harm is a priority in Australia

This announcement is the latest attempt by the Australian government to combat gambling-related harm.

Another recent initiative is the ban on using credit cards to wager online. The government presented legislation earlier this month to move forward with this proposal.

Bill 2023, Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill (Credit and Other Measures), seeks to prohibit credit cards and credit products. This bill also includes digital currency.

Australia has already banned gambling using credit cards in land-based establishments. This bill aims to align online gambling with the existing ban, effectively banning all gambling using credit cards.

The government also implemented a national training program for all staff in the gambling sector.

The BetStop self-exclusion registry is now available to consumers. The self-exclusion register can be used to exclude yourself from all Australia licensed gambling sites for a period of three months or a lifetime.

The government will also introduce mandatory pre-verification of customers. Operators must verify the identity of customers when they open a new betting account or before placing a wager.

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