Inside Asian Gaming reported that in a statement made on March 8, the CEO of Tabcorp, Adam Rytenskild, one of Australia’s largest gambling companies, has called for a single national regulator to ensure consistency in the industry and protect vulnerable Australians.
Tabcorp CEO Advocates for National Regulator to Replace State-Based Model
The current state-based model of regulation is no longer effective in providing necessary community safeguards, according to Tabcorp’s Managing Director and CEO, Adam Rytenskild. He believes the proliferation of gambling advertising on Australian television is a result of the patchwork style of regulation. Rytenskild blames the current system for allowing foreign online bookmakers to be licensed in the Northern Territory, contributing to the increase in gambling advertisements.
The Tabcorp CEO has suggested the creation of a single national regulator that sets out a consistent standard for bookmakers. He believes there should be strong integrity arrangements in place and consumer protections to ensure a level playing field for all operators. Rytenskild argues that the responsibility should be on regulators themselves to lead the charge rather than the government.
The call for national regulation comes as Tabcorp continues to push its case for an equal playing field when it comes to taxation of the industry. However, the company’s CEO predicts industry consolidation in the coming year, with only the companies that have a larger scale surviving into 2024.
Tabcorp Committed to Reducing Gambling Ads on Television, Even Without Government Action
Tabcorp has also committed to reducing advertisements on television, even if the federal government does not act. Rytenskild believes Australian families should be able to watch live sports without being bombarded by gambling advertising.
Rytenskild wants to see gambling advertising stopped between 6.30 am and 8.30 pm on free-to-air television, as a first step to reducing the impact of gambling on vulnerable Australians. If restrictions cannot be agreed upon by the government, Tabcorp will voluntarily stop advertising on prime-time television between these times.
Rytenskild’s comments are in stark contrast to statements from the peak bodies for major sports and free-to-air broadcasters, which have argued that the current restrictions are appropriate. However, many major sporting clubs are uncomfortable with the level of gambling advertisements associated with the AFL and the NRL and have sought to remove gambling advertisements from their stadiums.
Protecting vulnerable consumers is now Tabcorp’s main focus, with the aim of reducing revenue generated from problem gambling. Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, Tabcorp has made progress in becoming a leader in sustainability in the industry.
Tabcorp has focused on responsible gambling in FY2022, introducing tools to help customers set limits and offering self-exclusion options. The company has also been able to identify at-risk players and provide them with early prevention tools to keep them away from serious gambling problems. Tabcorp has also implemented systems to identify players who have self-excluded and are trying to set up new accounts.