Australian bookmakers will be banned from offering huge cash sign-up bonuses to punters when they join as part of widespread reforms to curb problem gambling.
Popular online bookies – including Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, William Hill, CrownBet and Unibet – all have offers upwards of $500 in free bets to lure in vulnerable punters.
Existing members are also offered bonus bet incentives if they are able to persuade their friends to sign up to the betting giants.
But under new reforms agreed upon by the nation’s gambling ministers on Friday, to be enforced across the country by June next year, the bonus bets will be scrapped.
Australian bookmakers will be banned from offering huge cash sign-up bonuses to punters when they join their services (stock image)
Popular online bookies (such as Sportsbet, above) all offer huge bonus bet incentives for punters to use their service
Punters will also be able to cash out bonus bet wins immediately, rather than the current process which forces members to make a profit off the winnings with a second bet before withdrawal.
‘Many Australians enjoy a punt,’ admitted Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge, who chaired the meeting of Commonwealth, state and federal gambling ministers.
‘We want to ensure there are reasonable protections in place and that individuals can have greater control over their gambling expenditure.
Punters will also be able to cash out their bonus bet wins immediately, rather than make a second winning bet before withdrawing as is currently enforced
The changes were agreed upon by the nation’s gambling ministers on Friday, and will be enforced across the country by June next year
‘Today, we agreed sensible limits on inducements so that people aren’t encouraged to spend more money when they may already be in trouble,’ Minister Tudge added.
The online gambling reforms are the latest steps taken by government in a bid to tackle the punting epidemic across the country.
The government has already banned gambling advertising from live sporting events before 8.30pm, made restrictions on the accessibility of live betting and prohibited gambling companies from offering lines of credit to customers.
The online gambling reforms are the latest steps taken by government in a bid to tackle the punting epidemic across the country (PalmerBet bonus bet incentive, above)