In a series of meetings with Australian Government officials, ahead of the country formalizing changes to the interactive gambling act, former UK gambling commissioner Jenny Williams has advised online betting operators be “brought in the tent” to afford meaningful consumer protection.
Williams shared her experience of the UK’s broad, but strictly regulated, gambling market policy which embraces all forms of gambling within the parameters of strict integrity and consumer protection standards, The Australian reports.
“The basic thesis is you do better to have everybody in the tent to monitor them, learn what is happening, get an overview, and make sure you improve standards over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t,” Williams said.
Under the invitation of online gambling operator Betway, Williams discussed the pros and cons of banning certain forms of gambling versus operating a strictly regulated regime with Australian law makers, a regime that saw the British Treasury rake GBP 300 million per annum in taxes during her tenure.
“If you have a potential black market of people operating, you have no oversight of that market,” Williams explained, saying it’s usually difficult to restrict adults from doing what they want to do, a regulated and protected environment being a safer option.
During the interview with The Australian, Williams questioned the decision to ban in-play betting in the online sector but allow it in retail without implementing additional controls, pointing out that “there could be a lack of technology to obtain information on the people who operate and use the service.”