The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has argued against placing the responsibility of protecting “problem gamblers” on internet service providers. Instead, it argues that problem gambling must be managed at the point of service access and needs to be regulated at the PC and smartphone-level.
The news comes in the form of a submission by the IIA, after a call for submissions was made in August to review the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 – a legislation that the Federal Government opened to investigate the role smartphones play in the acceleration of online gambling services in Australia.
In the IIA’s submission to the review, the industry group said that ban of online gambling sites and applications was ineffective given the availability of international services.
The submission reads: “The IIA believes that the point of consumption, that is, the end user’s device, is the only effective and technically feasible way of controlling access to content on the Internet.”
It seems the IIA deem the responsibilities placed on ISPs and other members of the internet industry to help regulate problem gambling under the Act are ineffective and unrealistic because of:
- The high volume of users.
- The high volume of data users can access.
- The wide ranging nature of the prohibitions under the Act.
The submission continues: “In particular ISPs are given a gatekeeper role and are required to give effect to the Act’s ‘designated notification scheme’ upon receiving notification from the ACMA.
“[ISPs and other service providers], as well as online platforms, which are used by content and service providers to distribute their content and/or services, including gambling content and/or services, should not have gatekeeper responsibilities placed upon them.
“Not only can problem gamblers access online gaming services provided by offshore providers, who operate under a variety of regulatory regimes, recreational gamblers also can resort to those offshore providers.”
The IIA also said it backed a regulated licensing model with strict requirements on licensees to overcome what it views as the “questionable effectiveness” of such measures under the Act.