Welcome to the January 2017 edition of Addisons’ Gambling Law & Regulation Newsletter.
2016 saw significant developments in Australia’s regulatory landscape relating to gambling.
Among the key developments that took place in 2016 were:
- The announcement of the proposed merger between Tabcorp and Tatts Group, two of Australia’s leading gambling operators. This merger is under consideration by Australia’s anti trust regulator, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). Recently, a consortium led by Macquarie Group launched a takeover bid for Tatts Group (which was rejected by the Board of Tatts Group). It has been suggested in the media that other offers are likely. The outcome of these transactions will have considerable ramifications for Australia’s gambling and lottery sectors.
- The 2016 Federal election resulted in gambling becoming more of a debated topic in Australia’s Federal Parliament. This is due to an increased number of politicians making comments on the gambling sector, with members of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) being the most vocal in their concerns relating to the potential harm caused by gambling.
- The proposed Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill. This Bill was introduced into Federal Parliament in October by Minister Alan Tudge MP, the Minister for Social Services, as part of the Government’s response to the Review conducted by the Hon. Barry O’Farrell MP relating to offshore online wagering.
- The claim brought in the Federal Court of Australia against Aristocrat Technologies Limited and Crown Resorts Limited seeking a declaration that features of certain gambling machines constitute contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.
- The increased focus on the activities of casinos globally in sourcing VIP customers from overseas, particularly from China.
We will monitor each of these issues throughout 2017. This newsletter cannot comment on all of the legal issues that arose in 2016, but it includes Focus Papers on a number of topics of relevance to participants in the gambling sector, both in Australia and globally.