Australia Declaring War on Offshore Gambling OperatorsPublished September 12, 2015 by Mike P
Online gambling operators are closely monitoring a review by the Australian government into the country’s out-dated legislation.
Australians currently have access to a wide-ranging selection of top-level online casinos from some of the world’s leading operators. At a glance, some of the more familiar sites to Australian online gamblers will be Betspin Casino, Casino Mate, and Guts Casino. But all of that could change by Christmas of this year, as Australia’s government and Prime Minister Tony Abbott are planning to drastically change the nation’s online gambling legislation.
At the core of the issue for the Australian government is that offshore gambling operators have the freedom to target the nation’s residents without concern for legislation. Senator Nick Xenophon has compared Australia’s 2001 legislation as being out-dated to the same extent as 140-year-old legislation. To resolve the situation, Australia has tasked social services minister Scott Morrison with performing a review of the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act.
Review Said to Be in Good Faith
Morrison has attempted to ease the concerns of offshore gambling operators by explaining that the government was initiating the review without “preconceived ideas” and would “engage in good faith” throughout the process. Xenophon, however, appears to have already made up his mind, given that he is already drafting revised legislation that would call for a complete ban on in-play betting and gambling marketing at sports events.
Back in 2013, another review into the 2001 legislation determined that in-play betting should be legal in relation to the outcome of sporting events. However, no further action was taken after the 2013 review was published. Either way, it would appear that the future of in-play betting in Australia is at risk for offshore operators.
In outlining what the review would entail, Morrison explained that he would seek the insight of gambling operators and international regulators before determining new legislation by the end of 2015. At this point, one of the most likely outcomes is that a national self-exclusion register is created to help problem gamblers protect themselves.