top of page

Fed Govt must strengthen limp NT online gambling laws - New NT laws fail to protect communities from rapacious foreign operators

20 Mar 2024

The Federal Government should step in to stop the Northern Territory government continuing to offer a tax haven to multi-billion-dollar foreign online gambling operators.  It makes no sense for the Northern Territory government to effectively be the online gambling regulator for the nation.

The chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said that poor regulation by the Northern Territory government is a key reason adults and young people across Australia are being bombarded by online gambling advertising.

The NT government has put a Bill to parliament, the Racing and Wagering Bill 2024, that seeks to make changes to the regulation of online gambling. The Bill creates a Racing and Wagering Commission and a Director of Racing and Wagering (appointed by the Chief Minister) and funded by a new Racing and Wagering Fund Levy. The Chief Minister can intervene on decisions about which probity assessments or complaints will be referred to the NTRC.

“The NT government – which benefits from large revenues generated from online gambling – has now given itself the power of veto over the decisions of all other authorities. This not only reduces transparency, but also gives people no confidence that the government will act to reduce gambling harm, especially given significant regulatory failures already identified by the national online gambling inquiry” Ms Bennett said.
“The Bill has been presented at a time when the Federal government is set to respond to a multiparty parliamentary inquiry into online gambling Chaired by the late Peta Murphy MP.”
“The Bill tries to paint a rosy picture of the Northern Territory’s ‘tough approach’ to online gambling regulation while making minimal changes that don’t address the current regulatory failure. The Bill also fails to curb the conflicts of interest of the NTRC members who have a cosy relationship with the gambling industry, including owning gambling interests in some instances.” 

Ms Bennett said the NT government claims that all key stakeholders were consulted, but the Alliance understands that all but one of the stakeholders consulted were gambling companies and their lobby groups.

Carol Bennett is available for interview.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

bottom of page