Liquor and Gaming NSW
Liquor and Gaming NSW is accountable for the development, implementation and integrity of the overall regulatory framework across liquor, registered clubs and gambling activities in NSW. Liquor and Gaming NSW also understakes probity checking of organisations who apply to be a Sports Controlling Body in NSW. Learn more about sports betting and Sports Controlling Bodies.
Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014
Sports Controlling Bodies in NSW include:
- Australian Rugby Union
- Cricket Australia
- Basketball Australia
- Bowls Australia
- National Rugby League
- Netball Australia
- Tennis Australia
The main purpose of the Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014 is to regulate betting on sporting events in line with the National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport. That policy (which was agreed by all Sports Ministers) obliges all states to implement substantially similar legislation to address the issue of match-fixing.
In NSW this has been done by amending the Racing Administration Act 1998. The Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014 enables regulation of the interaction between sporting organisations and betting service providers, provides a framework for integrity agreements, and outlines baseline requirements for betting on sporting events.
The measures are based on a National Operational Model for sports betting which form part of the National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport, referred to above.
Specifically, the Act provides for the following matters:
- recognising (in a legislative sense) sports controlling bodies in relation to sporting events;
- requiring betting service providers to enter into integrity agreements with sports controlling bodies;
- specifying the matters that must be addressed in integrity agreements; and
- empowering sports controlling bodies to prevent sporting events being prescribed as declared betting events, to prevent new bet types being permitted, and to apply to have existing types of bet types prohibited.
The Act also creates an offence, similar to an offence already in existence in Victoria, prohibiting sports betting providers, whether in NSW or elsewhere, from offering a betting service on a sporting event unless an integrity agreement is in place with the sports controlling body for the event.
The National Operational Model was developed in consultation with State and Territory Gambling Regulators, a number of the major betting service providers and major sporting organisations.
Key features of the Act
What sporting events are captured by the Act?
Consistent with the Victorian scheme, the offence in the Act of offering a betting service without having an integrity agreement in place with a sports controlling body, only applies to events conducted in New South Wales.
What is a Sports Controlling Body (SCB) and how will they be approved?
The Minister for Racing can prescribe a person or body as the Sports Controlling Body (SCB) for a sporting event. The regulations outline the relevant criteria to be satisfied.
An SCB will be the body that has “control” over a particular sporting event and which organises or administers the event.
The relevant criteria draws upon the equivalent provisions in Victoria’s Gambling Regulation Act 2003 and include matters such as:
- whether the applicant has control of, organises, or administers the event;
- whether they have adequate policies, rules, codes of conduct or other mechanisms designed to ensure the integrity of the event; and
- whether the applicant has the expertise, resources and authority necessary to administer, monitor and enforce the integrity systems.
There is also a process for mutual recognition of sports controlling bodies approved in other Australian jurisdictions.
What are the essential requirements for an integrity agreement?
The essential requirements of an integrity agreement include the following:
- an outline of the measures used to prevent, investigate and assist in the prosecution of any match fixing or corrupt behaviour;
- provision of financial return to the sport;
- information sharing arrangements; and
- a consultation process for applications for new sporting events and bet types.
These elements are based on the National Operational Model and the equivalent Victorian legislation.
What happens in cases where there is no approved sports controlling body?
In circumstances where there is no approved sports controlling body for an event, the applicant seeking the prescription by the Minister for Racing of a new sporting event as a declared betting event must take reasonable steps to consult with the key persons or bodies involved in the administration of the sporting event.
Applicants are only required to take these steps in relation to sporting events taking place in Australia. They are not required to take such steps in relation to overseas events.
What is the Government’s role in relation to integrity agreements?
As noted in the second reading speech to the Act, details of the integrity agreement, including financial arrangements, are determined not by Government but by the parties to the agreement.
While the Act contains measures that actively bring the parties to the negotiating table, the outcome of the negotiations is left to the parties themselves.
It is considered that the parties themselves are in the best position to reach agreement on these commercial matters, at arms length from Government.
It is expected that arrangements for the provision of financial return to sports from betting service providers will assist in meeting the integrity-related costs incurred by sports controlling bodies.
New offence provision - What is it and who will it apply to?
The offence provision in section 18C prohibits betting service providers, whether in New South Wales or elsewhere, from offering a betting service in relation to a sporting event unless an integrity agreement is in place with the sports controlling body for the event.
The offence is based on a similar offence applying in Victoria – under its Gambling Regulation Act 2003. Consistent with the Victorian offence, the New South Wales offence has extra-territorial application and does not apply in the following circumstances:
- where there is no sports controlling body for the sporting event; or
- to sporting events held wholly outside the State; or
- during the six-month period following the approval of a new sports controlling body for an event.
The last exclusion provides betting service providers with a six month transition period within which to reach an integrity agreement with a newly approved sports controlling body.
The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $11,000 for a corporation, or $5,500 or 12 months imprisonment or both for an individual. The penalty is consistent with those prescribed for similar offences in the Betting and Racing Act 1998 and the Unlawful Gambling Act 1998.
The offence provision provides further impetus to bring betting service providers and sports controlling bodies to the negotiating table to discuss and agree on integrity issues.
New application procedures for new bet types
The Act introduces a new application process for betting service providers who approach the Minister for Racing for the approval of new bet types relating to sporting events. A new sporting event may only be prescribed by the Minister for Racing (in cases where a sports controlling body has been approved for the sporting event) if an integrity agreement is in place between the applicant and the sports controlling body does not oppose the making of the order. In circumstances where there is no approved sports controlling body for a sporting event, the Act requires the applicant to consult with key people or bodies involved in the administration of the event and convey their views to the Minister for Racing for consideration prior to making an order.