The Australian state of Victoria is implementing a new betting ban on any sport that includes players under the age of 19. It’s the latest move to reign in problem gambling in a part of the world where anti-gambling crusaders hold great sway – and the population loves gambling.
The ban on minor sports betting was implemented by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) implemented the band over concerns that minor players could be susceptible to influence from forces that seek to disrupt sport in the name of sports betting. This is a legitimate concern and is the type of scandal that hasn’t emerged in newly opened US regulated sports betting market, but likely will at some point.
Under the VGCCC’s new ban operators would be allowed to take team bets on a football team that had 19-year-old players, but would not be allowed to take wagers on the team’s under-19 players.
VGCCC Chair, Fran Thorn described the thought behind the ban in comments reports on by SBC News UK saying, “The idea that it is okay to bet on minors just doesn’t stand up. We think minors deserve to be protected. It also raises integrity issues, with the prospect of people attempting to influence how minors might behave playing sport.
“If sports controlling bodies and betting providers do not comply with this decision we will take action, which may include revoking our approval of sports controlling bodies and prosecuting betting providers,” he added.
Gambling reforms aimed at protecting minors and problem gamblers have been a big issue in Victoria for quite some time now and have the support of local operators both at the online and land-based level.