The Australian government is still trying to find a lasting solution to curb problem gaming in the country. Lately anti-gambling campaigners have expressed their concerns that if internet gambling is legalised in Australia it might further exacerbate problem gambling.
Australian Interactive Gambling Act 2001
A departmental report has been released by the government which delves into the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, in it it calls for mitigating circumstances and aims to reduce harm done to people with gambling related problems. The report proposes 30 changes, by banning micro-betting on sporting events the likes of ball-by-ball bets in cricket or point-by-point bets in tennis, across all platforms.
At this stage the government has not issued a statement with regard to possible changes, it said that it will approach various “interested parties” first before a decision is made. Nick Xenophon independent senator said the report proposes that online gambling should be legalised since thousands of Australian punters are currently wagering at foreign based internet gambling sites - which are “deeply flawed”.
In a recent interview with ABC Television he said, “More and more people will be falling by the wayside.”
“By giving it the seal of approval of the Australian government, you will see more people flocking to local sites and with it the problems that arise from that.” Xenophone also rejected estimates that Australians spend approximately $1 billion per annum on illegal online gambling sites.
Richard Di Natale, representative for the Australian Greens said the government must take into account how legalized online gambling will affect problem gamblers. In Canberra he told reporters, “We’ve got a huge problem with gambling in this country.”
“Why on earth would you be making this easier for people?”