The betting brand members of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) are donating more than $3m over three years to provide financial counselling services for Australians.
Entain, bet365, betfair, PointsBet, Sportsbet and Unibet are each participating in the initiative, which has seen RWA partner with the Federal Government, the financial counselling sector and a range of industries including banking, energy and insurance.
This initiative effort aims to establish a not-for-profit body that will distribute funding to financial counselling services around the country from early 2024, aiding Australians in accessing sessions ‘promptly if needed’.
CEO of RWA, Kai Cantwell, emphasised that financial counsellors play a ‘vital role’ helping Australians in financial difficulty by providing free, independent and confidential advice on ways to manage debts, make informed choices about their money and build a future with financial freedom.
“RWA members are proud to set the industry standard for keeping customers safe, going well beyond the requirements set by governments,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the funding builds on the body’s consumer protections that only exist in online gambling, including mandatory age and identity verification, deposit limits, time out tools and activity statements.
“RWA is proud to enter into this agreement after proactively approaching the Federal Government in 2021 and volunteering to contribute to the body,” Cantwell emphasised, stating that the number one priority for RWA is to ensure a safe gambling environment with access to the right tools.
“This funding commitment demonstrates the collective commitment of RWA and its members to safeguard the well-being of Australians and provide vital support to those who may need assistance managing their financial circumstances.”
“With many Australians currently struggling with increasing cost of living pressures, the work of financial counsellors is more important than ever. ”
Overall, the body aims to help Australians manage their current situation and develop long-term financial skills that can be applied ‘in all areas of life’, and is now looking to ensure a successful implementation of the initiative.
The group concluded that it hopes other industries will follow its lead and contribute to the scheme.