The Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) organisation announced on Tuesday that six RWA members have committed over AU$3 million towards the establishment of a not-for-profit body that will have the role of funding financial counselling services in Australia. The initiative is backed by prominent RWA members like Bet365, Betfair, Entain, PointsBet, Sportsbet, and Unibet, and the money will be distributed over the course of three years, starting in early 2024.
RWA’s scheme has been established in partnership with the Federal Government, along with industry bodies that have to do with banking, energy, and insurance. Australia’s financial counselling sector will also play a prominent role in this initiative.
This announcement was made roughly a month after the 2023 NSW GambleAware Week campaign took place, during which industry players in Australia raised awareness regarding responsible gambling. This year, the event was centred around the “What’s gambling costing you?” theme, with RWA members taking part by promoting the initiative.
The Importance of Financial Counselling
Tuesday’s announcement included a statement by Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia. According to Cantwell, financial counsellors’ provision of financial guidance at no cost has been crucial in assisting Australians in recovering from financial difficulties. Cantwell put special emphasis on advice that focused on debt management, as well as counselling that had to do with preparing Australians to make informed decisions when it came to their funds. He went on to express RWA member’s pride in “setting an industry standard” for client safety and doing far more than what Australia’s authorities require in terms of legislation.
An additional clarification was made that the funding “builds on” RWA’s consumer protection-centred measures. Currently, these measures encompass the verification of a client’s age and identity, the provision of deposit limit tools, activity statements that give gamblers a clear rundown of their transaction and betting history, and time outs–tools that allow players and punters alike to take short-term breaks from online gambling.
Cantwell did not fail to put stress on the importance of customer safety. He claimed that it is RWA’s “number one priority” to guarantee that Australian gamblers have a safe environment to wager in, and that they are equipped to manage their spending with the help of suitable tools. According to him, RWA’s funding scheme makes the industry body’s dedication to client safety and helping those in need evident.
Cantwell also pointed out that Australia’s increasing cost of living and the problems Australians face as a result make financial counselling “more important than ever” and that attaining financial skills that can be employed in the long term would assist Australians in “all areas of life.” RWA’s CEO concluded his statement by noting that the organisation will make sure that the initiative will be successfully implemented in collaboration with the government and industry players, and he expressed the wagering body’s hopes that other industries will also make the decision to contribute toward the initiative.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.