An open letter to Christian Porter and Barry O’Farrell

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  • Josh

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together Steve. It is a comprehensive view with good perspective.

    The main point I would encourage anyone who wants to have their say, via Steve’s suggested methods above, to emphasise is to expand the terms of reference of the enquiry.

    The Terms of Reference for the Review are:
    1 – the economic impacts of illegal offshore wagering and associated financial transactions on legitimate Australian wagering businesses, including size of the illegal industry, growth, organisation and interrelationships with other criminal industries and networks; and

    2 – international regulatory regimes or other measures that could be applied in the Australian context; and

    3 – what other technological and legislative options are available to mitigate the costs of illegal offshore wagering; and

    4 – the efficacy of approaches to protect the consumer – including warnings, information resources, public information campaigns and any other measures, regulatory or otherwise, that could mitigate the risk of negative social impacts on consumers.

    Steve, while I agree with your two solutions above, there is no scope to cover either of them in the terms of reference above. Rightly or wrongly, Scott and Barry’s response to you would be “we operated the review within the scope given to us.”

    As much as punters may not like Nick Xenophon, and his stance towards gambling, he has suggested this scope is too narrow and needs to cover the activities of legal Australian sites. Whilst that will bring elements such as bonuses and free bets into light, it would also bring your measures above into the scope.

    As punters, we may have to give something up to get something in return. However, if the terms of reference of this review are not expanded, we’ll be giving something up and getting nothing in return.

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  • steve jones

    It doesn’t really matter, Pinnacle (Pinnaclebet) has an Australian licence

  • steve jones

    Ok I’m reliably informed (by Steve) the Pinnaclebet Australia, even with their Bondi Junction office, is actually considered an overseas operator.

  • Clarke

    Thanks for creating this letter. I have forwarded through the suggested methods as I also feel strongly about it.

    I also look forward to the software you refer to – I currently manually track all my bets which is made harder by the likes of Bet365 which does not allow for CSV exports.

    Perhaps an idea could be a regulated annual statement to be sent to all customers by the corporate bookmaker with certain information such as profit/loss, similar to what happens in the funds management industry. This would certainly help casual or losing punters to understand the cost of their hobby.

    Finally, I am not clear on the below statement – presumably bookmakers would still accept larger bets from losing gamblers?

    The second is that it will also benefit problem gamblers, giving them a cap to how much they can lose”

    Thanks for your efforts.

  • I agree completely Josh, they are not looking at the right things.

    As you mention, Xenophon is no friend of the punter, but what he is suggesting leads to a much better chance of something like this being tabled.

    If the bookmakers thought the freebet and refund offers would be taken away from them they would give up a lot of other stuff to make sure that does not happen. It is their biggest driver and all their marketing efforts are built around it. If these inducements were banned they would have no way to bring customers back to their site. Their whole business model would need to change.

    All we can do is keep trying to get the story out there to as many people as possible and hope our voice is heard.

  • Hey Clarke,
    A monthly statement should be sent to all members with their profit and loss figures and a running P/L figure should be highly visible on the My account section. My application will make this very visible.

    The second rule I wrote was that bookmakers must have the same limits and odds for all customers. So if they say a problem gambler can have $10,000 on a game, anyone else can also have $10,000 on that game at those odds. Now, if everyone is allowed to bet, bookmakers will be petrified that if they offered a large amount, the winning punters would bet it. Instead they would lower the limits to the $2,000 min bet for everyone.

    What that means is that the problem gambler can only lose $2,000 on that single bet, whereas before the bookmaker would have happily let him on for hundreds of thousands if he wanted.

  • steve jones

    I agree, but he odds would have to be worse for all of us if problem gamblers were limited though…it is a less than zero sum game after all.