Australia's Northern Territory Moves Against Illegal Affiliate Activity

October 23, 2023
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Australia’s leading licensing authority for corporate bookmakers has cracked down on affiliate activity, ordering operators to seek approval for existing or new affiliates and provide probity information.
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Australia’s leading licensing authority for corporate bookmakers has cracked down on affiliate activity, ordering operators to seek approval for existing or new affiliates and provide probity information.

The Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) on October 9 sent a notice to all corporate bookmakers saying that affiliates must be pre-approved, or approved if already in operation, the Melbourne-based Senet gaming law firm said in a report on Thursday (October 19).

The notices amount to an amnesty to clean house, as affiliate activity without NTRC permission is an offence under the territory’s Racing and Betting Act 1983.

Licensees must provide the NTRC with draft or existing affiliate agreements as applicable, as well as personal details and resumes of all affiliates, whether individuals or employees, Senet principal Daniel Lovecek wrote.

In addition, the NTRC requires statutory declarations from affiliates and employees on whether they have been “subject to any investigation or sanctions imposed under a law relating to racing or wagering in the last 10 years (anywhere in the world)”.

Finally, affiliates and employees will need to disclose evidence of responsible online wagering training that adheres to the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering, as well as evidence of occupational skill standards.

Lovecek said the changes follow “recent high-profile incidents” involving bookmaker affiliates that prompted the regulator to review such arrangements and “provide greater transparency and accountability”.

The notice defines an affiliate arrangement as one in which a “gambling affiliate marketer”, whether an individual or a company, receives a commission based on the gross turnover, gross profit, net profit, or losses generated by customers referred to the corporate bookmaker.

The Racing and Betting Act provides for a penalty of a little over A$7,000 ($4,400) for unapproved affiliate arrangements, but the regulator also has the discretion to suspend or cancel bookmaker licences if an offence occurs.

“We understand that NTRC is receptive to feedback regarding the requirements set out in the notice, including in relation to any potential challenges that may be presented,” Lovecek wrote.

As of this week, 34 of Australia’s 76 legal corporate bookmakers are licensed in the Northern Territory. The next largest host licensor is Victoria state, with 20 companies, according to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) data.

Vixio GamblingCompliance contacted the NTRC to verify details of the notice and to clarify if affiliates are to be listed on its website along with corporate bookmakers. No reply was forthcoming by publication time.

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