July 7,2012 : AUSSIE SPORTS CLUBS WANT CONTROL OF ONLINE GAMBLING
Clubs Australia says prohibition hasn't worked
If the operation of online gambling sites is made legal in Australia, it should be the sports clubs control, said Clubs Australia in a submission this week.
The organisation was responding to government proposals following a review of the online gaming ban that has suggested the pastime be legalised, at least as far as online poker is concerned, with a five year trial period,
Clubs Australia contends that the current bans on internet gambling have not worked and that Australian punters continue to spend around a billion dollars a year on offshore internet gambling websites.
Over the next decade local online gamblers are expected to spend more than A$17.9 billion on these sites.
In a reaction to the review, Clubs Australia says that should casino games be allowed, clubs should be the sole operator because they are best placed to provide effective harm minimisation.
The Canberra Times reported on the content of the submission this weekend, quoting:
”Such a model would at the least feature existing club gambling policies such as a ban on credit card betting, a ban on inducements to gamble and a ban on advertising to non-club members.”
”A locally based, club operated online gaming model would provide Australians a legitimate avenue for consumers to exercise their gambling preferences, and engage in an enjoyable activity within a safe and regulated environment.”
Clubs Australia's modelling estimates the government could make A$4.7 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years, with club-operated gaming to generate A$34 million in community funding over five years.
Anthony Ball, the executive director of Clubs Australia, stressed that his organisation was not lobbying to allow casino-style gambling online.
”However, we strongly believe that if the federal and state governments choose to go down that path, then the safest way is through a club-based, not-for profit-model,” he wrote.