Most people are aware of the intense censorship that the Chinese are subject to when it comes to the internet. What most people don’t know is that “western” countries like Australia are exploring and trying to employ similar ideas.
Australia’s version of China’s “Golden Shield” has been deemed, “The Great Firewall Reef.” Its original alleged purpose was to weed child pornography from internet accessibility, but as readers can assume, internet gambling sites and casinos have also made the list.
The Great Firewall Reef is composed of a two-level system. The first level would be voluntary. Families can accept the first level and feel safe in knowing that all sites accessible from their home computer will be “suitable for children.” The second level would be mandatory nationwide and would block all things dubbed illegal, hardcore pornography, violence, drug-related material, some online casinos, discussion of suicide, etc.
How does online gambling fit in with all these other subjects? Really it doesn’t. However, there is a growing gambling problem in Australia that is becoming more obvious daily. This problem specifically applies to “pokies,” slot machines and video slots which make up some of the most common forms of gambling online.
Gambling is a booming, $18 billion dollar industry in Australia. Reports show that $12 billion of the $18 billion is spent on pokies alone. Recent research seems to indicate that 40% of that $12 billion is fed into the machines by punters who have gambling problems.
On the basis of these recent findings, Australian gambling laws may be subject to change. The government is considering legislation that would make it more difficult for problem punters to get into trouble. Such laws would put limits on pokies to the extent that a player’s maximum bet can only be $1 and only $20 in wagers can be run on a machine at any one time by a single player.