Australian politicians have a curious relationship with the country’s gambling industry. It’s not so much a love-hate one – it’s usually just hate-hate. The latest news will see the country’s Interactive Gambling Act come under review as they look to bring a halt to the live odds that they believe are plaguing the country’s young. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) will undertake the review of the Act, which was adopted in 2001.
It aims to look at a number of different factors related to the country’s online gaming industry. Primarily it will “examine the growth of online gambling and the impact of smart phones and the convergence of new and existing technologies.”
The review will also revise the adequacy of current technical, operational and enforcement provisions relating to advertising of gambling industry services. Technology and platform neutrality in relation to “betting on the run” and micro-betting will be looked at as well.
As ever someone has to stick their oar in when it comes to the gambling industry in Oz – this time is no different. Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, commented, “These betting shops, which allow you to wager on every conceivable competition, have no boundaries. They use events conducted anywhere in the world, and can be accessed by phone or the Internet from anywhere in the world.
“What I strongly object to is the massive, in-your-face promotion of the betting odds available everywhere: At AFL football matches, on TV, during games and football shows, as well as on radio and in the press.”
In terms of betting shops it seems like every time one of these Aussie politicians comes out with an opinion, we have to point out to them the comments made by Dr Patrick Basham. Here we go again. Basham found that retirees that “remain active in the community and constantly engage in social activity, often, largely or exclusively through gambling, live happier and healthier lives.”
That’s the same community spirit and social activity that he’s suggesting stifling. Nothing like a boring population eh!
Cormac Berry, Sportsbet chief executive, already pointed out earlier this year that online gambling industry companies actually offer a safer service than many land-based outlets. The review is expected to be completed either later this year or early next and will give companies operating in the country more of an idea as to whether the gambling industry is still considered to be in cahoots with Darth Vader.