Bookie loans banned in gambling crackdown

State, territory and federal ministers have agreed to a raft of gambling reforms including banning online bookies from offering credit to their customers.

Online gambling sites operating in Australia will be banned from offering their customers lines of credit or advertising payday lenders under sweeping new reforms.

A national self-exclusion register and voluntary pre-commitment option will also be established under major changes to the bookmaking industry agreed to by state, territory and federal ministers.

Bookies will also be required to provide regular activity statements detailing an individual's wins and losses.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, who chaired a ministerial meeting on problem gambling in Melbourne on Thursday, says there is too much conflict of interest in gambling sites acting as both bookmakers and banks.

"I just think it's unconscionable for a company to provide lines of credit for them to continue to bet once they've emptied out their credit cards; they've emptied out their savings account and yet they're provided lines of credit," he told Sky News.

Corporate bookies offering credit are already banned in most Australian jurisdictions, but not in the Northern Territory, where most online gambling companies are licensed.

A representative for the NT minister had indicated on Thursday the top end was broadly on board with the suite of changes, Mr Tudge said.

The two tiers of government are still working out whether the national reforms will be enacted through state laws and licensing conditions or through Commonwealth legislation.

The self-exclusion register and pre-commitment option would be designed to stretch across all of a customer's gambling site subscriptions.

World Vision Australia chief advocate Tim Costello says the changes, while welcome, are merely cosmetic and more must be done to clamp down on advertising sports betting.

Mr Costello said banning "immoral" bookie loans was long overdue, but voluntary self-exclusion was "about as useful as voluntary brakes in a car".

"The big one, of course, is banning sports betting in G-rated family time and we're waiting with bated breath for that," he told Sky News.

Source AAP

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