The world is getting smaller for punters in South Australia as the state government continues to implement more draconian gambling measures.
After passing a back-breaking tax burden on punters, the State Government of South Australia is getting ahead of other Australian territories as it imposes the first gambling ban on computer and video gaming competitions.
Instead of granting the request for eSports betting to be legalized, ABC News reported that the state government has advised the Independent Gambling Authority to reject betting on computer gaming sporting events.
The ban, according to the report, coincided with Adelaide’s hosting of the nation’s largest Mario Kart competition at the Adelaide Arena.
Despite admitting that there was little research available on the potential danger of such gambling, Consumer and Business Affairs Minister John Rau pointed out that the imposition of a ban on eSports betting in order to protect the children from gambling.
He cited the government’s policy on Children, Technology and Games, which stated that the State government should encourage the use of games that are fun or educational “but to act against activities, which lured children into gambling.
“Children are particularly vulnerable to the attraction of gambling on sporting contests conducted on the platform of video games,” Rau said in a news release. “The Government is determined to keep our children cyber-safe. We do not want them to be introduced to gambling under the guise of a game.”
Currently, the Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction which allows betting on eSports. State governments across the country have been approached to legitimize betting on eSports.
It is not known legally how the prohibition would apply, given most of the corporate bookmakers in Australia are based in other jurisdictions, particularly the Northern Territory. Generally anti-gambling law in Australia is enforced against the provider of the gambling service, not the user.
This is not the first time that anti-gambling campaigners barked on the US$8 billion eSports industry.
Last week, Australia’s anti-gambling warlord Sen. Nick Xenophon is targeting multiplayer first-person shooter video games – such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 – in his gambling reform plans, by defining it as gambling.
The habitual gambling scold claimed that that children are “being groomed for gambling” through first-person shooter games such as Counter-Strike and Dota which he describes as “incredibly misleading and deceptive.”