Page 4380 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
betting options. The pooling of bets and the declaration of the winning dividends, only after betting is closed, contrasts with fixed odds betting where the consumer knows the dividend prior to making a bet.
This contrast means that consumers of totalisator betting are highly reliant on the integrity of the technology underpinning those operations. Control over totalisator betting necessarily involves regulation over the systems and equipment used by the totalisator betting service. Totalisator operations in the territory are currently operated by ACTTAB Ltd and are regulated by the Betting (ACTTAB Limited) Act 1964 and the Gambling and Racing Control Act 1999.
Over recent times there have been significant changes to the gambling industry. These include the extension of gambling to a wider range of sporting activities; increased use of internet-based gambling; privatisation of totalisators in most Australian states; and increased involvement of international gambling operations in the Australian market.
The bill I present today replaces the existing betting act and introduces consequential amendments to the Gambling and Racing Control Act 1999, the Gambling and Racing Control (Code of Practice) Regulation 2002 and the Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001. Both ACTTAB and the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission have been consulted in the bill’s development.
The bill modernises current arrangements and ensures that the regulatory processes are transparent. It will improve public confidence in the integrity of our betting services here. The bill establishes clear licensing, probity and integrity requirements; provisions that enable the commission to regulate the behaviour and conduct of the licensee; enforcement mechanisms, including a disciplinary scheme; offence provisions; harm minimisation measures, including adherence to a code of practice and reporting requirements; financial provisions that enable a commission to the operator on totalisator betting, taxation on totalisator operations, monthly reporting requirements and treatment of unclaimed moneys; a framework for consumer protection initiatives, including a treatment of monies held in client betting accounts; and totalisator equipment approvals and standards similar to the Gaming Machine Act 2004 and relevant instruments.
Wherever possible the provisions have been drafted to mirror similar territory control functions, thus providing certainty to the industry and the commission. The bill is in step with arrangements in other Australian jurisdictions, particularly New South Wales and Victoria. The bill provides for commencement on the day after notification. However, to ensure a smooth transition to the new framework the bill also provides that the existing licence, approvals and finance provisions applying to ACTTAB under the current Betting Act will continue. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2013
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.