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Australian ignoring Interactive Gambling Act

Written By: PokerNet.com | May 30, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 is being investigated by the Federal Government after it had been deemed that the acts has failed in its ability to minimise the harm from problem gamblers and lack of deterrence of Australians from their access to foreign online gambling services. Currently the effectiveness of the act is being taken into account and thoroughly analysed as it is not having the intended effect.

According to a review of the act, only minor contributions are being made towards its goals of reducing harm to problem gamblers and those likely to be affected by the problems of gambling on a more serious scale.

“The IGA may in fact be exacerbating the risk of harm because of the high level of usage by Australians of prohibited services which may not have the same protections that Australian licensed online gambling providers could be required to have,” the report reads.

In the report it states that up to 2200 online gambling providers are providing services to Australia that are not properly reviewed and may pose a contravention of the act, knowingly and unknowingly.

It has also been measured that the Australian revenue is being affected with gamblers investing over $1 billion per annum towards offshore overseas online gambling service providers; money that could easily have been injected into the Australian gambling economy.

The report responds to the statistics of Australians reaching more overseas services with recommendations that the Australian government encourage the competition to become licensed in the country. In exchange for the increase of the sites legitimacy and operation in the country it would also need to adhere to the regulation for minimising measures and providing limited services in the forms of lower risk gambling.

It has however been acknowledged that not all overseas operators will be favourable of Australian regulation and that the government must “recognise the limits of enforcement action against overseas-based companies, many of which operate out of countries which actively seek to attract such companies and provide them with legal protection”.

Taking this into account, the report has recommended that the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and Treasury should, “…continue to monitor developments overseas in the use of financial payment blocking to prohibit gambling sites and draw relevant developments to the attention of Australian financial industry bodies.”

This review follows the 2010 Productivity Commission’s 2010 Gambling report which had found that online gaming and wagering was growing steadily over the last 10 years and the Australian ban on accessing online gaming had a decreased traction.


“While the risks associated with online gambling are likely to be overstated, the relatively high prevalence of problem gamblers is still a cause for concern,” the Gambling report reads. “At the very least, it indicates that the internet is very attractive to this group and, though the evidence is weak, gambling online may exacerbate already hazardous behaviour.”

Source: CIO

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