Australia’s anti-money laundering regulator, AUSTRAC, has announced that online gambling service providers must implement stricter customer identification procedures in the coming year (2024).
According to the statement, under the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering, the pre-verification rules have been updated as the regulator and local governments look to close any loopholes that allow potential money laundering activity. The new rules will also prevent self-excluding gamblers from accessing gambling products and services.
As it stands, customers have a window of time during which they can place wagers before providing sufficient identification.
The new rules will come into force on September 29th, 2024 with interim arrangements already in place to allow online gambling providers the time to update their procedures.
The new rules follow the recent introduction of the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023. The bill is seen by the federal government as a means to protect vulnerable Australians and their families from the harms of problem gambling. This will place an outright ban on the use of credit cards to fund online gambling.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Government recently announced that local gambling losses increased by half a billion dollars (11.3%) to more than AU$5.1 billion ($3.26 billion/€3.07 billion) in the last financial year.
According to the latest Global Gambling Statistics, Australians have the highest gambling losses per person in the world. The figures show that the average gambler loses approximately AU$1870 ($1200/€1118) per year. This puts Australian gambling losses at about AU$25 billion ($16 billion/€14.9 billion) per year.
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