Australian gambling authorities are expected to strike down on the industry of illegal betting in Australia.
Australia is a huge market for internet betting operators with a reported USD 1.1 billion turnover per year. It is naturally an excellent place to make money for illegal offshore betting destinations as well. Gambling authorities in Australia want to change the picture however.
Scott Morrison, Minister of Social Services in Australia declared war on illegal offshore betting operators in a statement on Monday. Though he spoke long about problem gambling and that players’ winnings aren’t guaranteed at unlicensed offshore operators, he kind of admitted that the 60% share of illegal betting operators hurt Aussie gambling authorities much more than losing the Ashes.
Illegal betting in Australia is serious
Morrison said, “According to the Australian Institute of Family
Studies (AIFS) online gambling is a AUD 1.6 billion business in Australia with sixty percent of this revenue going offshore to more than 2, 000 sites beyond the reach of our regulators and tax collectors.”
He continued, “Unlike Australia’s licensed operators, overseas agencies don’t contribute product fees to racing and sporting bodies, do not comply with Australia’s legal system and are not obligated to monitor and report suspicious betting activity.”
There is another interesting problem regarding internet betting in Australia. Sportsbooks are allowed to accept in-game wagering only via phone calls. Licensed online operators therefore have to work around current regulations to satisfy the demands of their players. Since this obviously doesn’t bother the industry of illegal betting in Australia, they have an edge on legal sportsbooks.
Australian gambling laws are in an archaic state
Online gambling in Australia is regulated by the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act. You don’t have to be a lawmaker to see that the bill must be as outdated as bell-bottoms and Nokia 5110, even though it was amended several times. Therefore gambling authorities plan to review the whole system. The first step of this process would be cracking down on illegal betting in Australia.
Morrison said that the government will immediately start to investigate the impacts of illegal betting in Australia. The commission that will review the topic will also have to come up with suggestions to fix the problem. Their report is expected before Christmas, so in 2016 – after 15 long years – online gambling laws in Australia might be modernized. It will be just in time.