Australia’s online gambling industry was worth $1billion last year and the burgeoning industry shows no signs of abating with many still championing the idea of regulation.
Provision of online gambling services to Australians was made illegal through the passing of the Interactive Gambling Act in 2001 but the loopholes are so big that large numbers of sites have slipped through the net and made the industry what it is today.
The West Australian newspaper has analyzed where the industry is at now in the land down under, where the money goes, and where it might end up in the future.
The original prohibitive aim of the Australian government, according to Sally Gainsbury of Southern Cross University’s Centre for Gambling Education and Research “has not been very effective.”
She continued, “The advantages of regulating this industry would be the safeguards that could be introduced – to protect the punter – as part of any licensing arrangement. We would also know who was playing, identify risk behaviour and intervene where appropriate.”
Of the sites available to Australians, Malta has the most with 415 sites, whereas Netherlands Antilles, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, and Kahnawake all have a sizeable presence.
The presence of sites from these locations is significant as this publication, amongst others, think that regulation would make it a lot safer for players who are currently playing on “unsafe” overseas sites.
The Federal Government still doesn’t seem prepared to look at the liberalization of online gaming and has in the past even cast it aside as part of the “dark side” of the Internet along with child pornography. What good company that is!