Australia's Illegal $1 Billion Online Gambling MarketDecember 3, 2010 9:43 am
Despite all form of online gambling aside from sports betting and lotteries being banned in the country, Australians have still managed to wager an incredible $1 billion online this year.
Australia is currently in the grip of a ‘pokies’ or slot machine epidemic which has been causing social problems, with 15% of players or 300,000 people now considered problem gamblers.
Now, however, the Australian government is concerned that the growing illegal online gambling market could soon overshadow the country’s slot machine problem, with the government’s plans to crackdown on ‘pokies’ potentially driving gamblers online.
At a problem-gambling conference which was attended by the Federal Families Minister, Jenny Macklin recently, gambling researcher Dr Sally Gainsbury told the conference:
“It has been estimated that Australians will spend about $968 million in 2010 on illegal [overseas] sites. It is highly accessible, fast and can be played alone at home with just a credit card and unregulated sites provide few player-protection measures.”
She further added that gambling was “a very, very destructive problem” for many Australians and that the problem was likely to be compounded as global online gambling was set to increase from $21 billion in 2008 to $30 billion by 2012.
Federal Families Minister, Jenny Macklin has recently been pushing for reforms on the way slot machines are regulated, even suggesting a mandatory scheme whereby a player would register their identity and have pre-set caps on their losses. Macklin has now said she will help tackle the growing online betting problem in the coming year.
Ironically, the conference was held at the Jupiter Casino on Australia’s Gold Coast.