Six major players in the Australian online betting industry, including Bet365, Betfair, Entain, PointsBet, Sportsbet, and Unibet, have announced a substantial pledge of over AUD 3 million ($1.97 million) to support financial counseling services over the next three years. The initiative, announced by Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), aims to further protect consumers and offset the negative societal impact of gambling.

This joint effort aligns with national initiatives to assist Australians in managing their financial well-being. The collaboration with governmental bodies, the financial counseling sector, and other industries will result in the establishment of a not-for-profit entity to distribute the funds. This entity is set to begin operating in 2024.

RWA CEO Kai Cantwell expressed excitement about the new initiative, emphasizing that it builds on existing consumer protections within online gambling. He highlighted tools such as age and identity verification, deposit limits, time-out tools, and activity statements as examples of the industry’s commitment to responsible gambling.

Cantwell also stressed the importance of providing support to disadvantaged communities, particularly in the face of economic challenges. The funding commitment from RWA members aims to increase access to specialized services for individuals struggling with rising living costs.

The initiative also aims to aid Australians in short-term financial management and developing long-term financial skills. RWA is committed to collaborating with various stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the initiative and hopes for more opportunities to enact positive change.

This financial counseling initiative reflects Australia’s heightened focus on customer protection within the gambling industry. Initiatives such as the national self-exclusion register, BetStop, and new ID requirements for online gamblers demonstrate the industry’s dedication to mitigating problems such as underage gambling and gambling harm.

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