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ONLINE GAMBLING UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT IN AUSTRALIA
5/30/10 - The weekend has seen a surge in mainstream reportage on internet gambling in newspapers across Australia; most of it related to the conclusions reached by the government's Productivity Commission.
The report has broadly suggested that the regulation and licensing of online gambling better serves the protection of Australians then trying to stop the thousands of online websites on the Internet from accessing gamblers Downunder.
Several reports point out that Australians using internet gambling services will lose A$1 billion this year on sites that are unregulated and operating illegally from an Australian perspective.
The use of poker sites is growing at a rate of 20 percent a year, other reports reveal, supporting the need for a cogent regulatory approach that ensures reputable and professionally operated sites are available to the Aussie market.
Predictably, there is strong anti-gambling opposition to the idea of regulation and licensing, based mainly on fears that it will increase the dangers of problem gambling in a society that has proved more prepared than most to wager on the outcome of sporting events and casino games.
Current laws allow online gambling sites for sport and racing, but prohibit sites for poker, bingo and casino games. Companies operating or advertising these products in Australia are theoretically subject to fines of up to A$1.1 million a day.
But punters who play these games are doing nothing illegal.
The Age newspaper claims that despite 17 referrals from other agencies since 2001, Australian federal police have failed to lay any charges against suspected illegal operators.
The newspaper reports that Full Tilt, Poker Stars and 888 are becoming "increasingly brazen in their marketing, despite a ban on advertising in Australia." Poker websites now sponsor rugby league teams and free pub poker leagues, and employ sports stars such as Shane Warne and Brendan Fevola to promote their products.
Gaming industry lawyer Jamie Nettleton told The Sunday Age that legalising internet gambling would bring tax revenue onshore and was ''inevitable because it's generally recognised that any form of prohibition is not going to work''.
Others, including Betfair Australia CEO Andrew Twaits, say it would be easier to minimise harmful online betting if the sites were legal, because owners could track the spending patterns of problem gamblers, and shut down accounts if necessary.
Complicating the task of the Rudd government, which has been studying the Productivity Commission's report, is the news that independent senator Nick Xenophon has ready a private member's bill that would ban Australian credit card companies from processing payments to offshore gambling websites.
The Age reports that new figures from international industry consultants Global Betting and Gaming show Australians are expected to spend A$968 million in 2010 on online casino, poker and bingo.
Local bans do not appear to have been able to stifle industry growth, with the Commission's report showing that in 2008, about 700 000 Australians played online casino games - twice the 2004 figure.
Online poker is driving this growth, with Australian visitors to poker sites increasing by about 20 percent a year and an estimated A$329 million flowing offshore this year from Australian online poker players alone.
PartyPoker Rakebak -
Partypoker brings back rake back for players. All new ‘partypoker weekly Cashback’ launches.
NHL Odds: Lone Canadian Team Plays on Friday -
“Stingy” is a word that many have used to describe the Ottawa Senators in Round Three. The Sens know that they’re overmatched against a Pens lineup that features the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evengi Malkin and Phil Kessel, but with determined defensive play, Ottawa managed to frustrate the Penguins on their home ice, stealing one of two games.
NBA Odds: Will Cavaliers Be Rusty in Game 1? -
The Boston Celtics needed seven games to get past the Washington Wizards, but they got the job done Monday night, winning 115-105 as 5.5-point home favourites. Next up: the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who visit the Garden Wednesday night at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.
4 New Microgaming Releases in May 2017 -
Candy Dreams is a 720 ways to win, variable reel game. Players spin on a colorful reel area filled with candy treats, as they play towards enticing bonus triggers.
PKR Company Statement Update -
Microgaming can confirm that David R Taylor and Matthew R M Wild of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of PKR Ltd and PKR Technologies Limited on 11 May 2017 by the High Court, Chancery Division.
Microgaming Wins The Spark Award 2017 -
The Spark Award celebrates organisations that experiment with ways of working differently. Previous winners include GCHQ and Places for People. It’s a part of Spark the Change, a global movement dedicated to empowering people and building happier workplaces.
NHL Predators First Ever Conference Finals Appearance -
With three of the team’s top four point scorers residing on the blueline, the Nashville Predators have found a strategy that frustrates even the best in the West. After qualifying as the lowest-seeded Western Conference team, the Predators made quick work of the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0) and St. Louis Blues (4-1) in the first two rounds.
NBA Odds: Wizards-Celtics at the Garden -
The Washington Wizards are making this a series. They’ve won back-to-back games against the Boston Celtics to knot this second-round matchup at 2-2 with Game 5 at the Garden on Wednesday. TNT has the coverage starting at 8 PM ET.
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