A study in Australia has revealed that the country has failed to keep up with the rest of the world, particularly Europe, in controlling the online gambling market. This was revealed by an Alliance for Gambling Reform study, which concluded that the Australian iGaming scene trails jurisdictions like:
In Germany, for instance, advertising online casino games like poker and slots on public TV, radio, and the internet between 6 am and 9 pm is prohibited. Also, the German government introduced a mandatory monthly deposit limit of €1,000 (A$1,640) for registered gamblers on all regulated online gaming sites.
Back in Australia, a parliamentary investigative committee on the risks of online gambling will unveil its findings in the coming weeks. According to Peta Murphy, a Labor MP, and the committee's chair, the inquiry's last report would consider what other countries do to minimize gambling-related harm.
Carol Bennett, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, declared that the reforms introduced in Australia to address online gambling, adverts, and gambling products targeting minors have been inadequate and sluggish.
Bennett told Guardian Australia that:
"It's at a time when the community is really screaming out for some change in this area. They've now started implementing and putting in place things that are way overdue, long overdue. We're playing catch-up."
Labor, which assumed power last year, has unveiled a self-exclusion service, BetStop, to combat problem gambling. In addition, the party has proposed a ban on using credit cards to gamble and classifying games with loot boxes and a minimum rating of M15+. Sadly, these revolutionary policies have not been implemented.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told the Senate that the debut of BetStop had been postponed after the firm appointed to provide the system went bankrupt. The regulator is currently consulting with another IT firm to implement the service.
Meanwhile, Bennett expressed her desire to see the government take swift action on the upcoming online gambling inquiry report. She hopes the report will address multiple regulatory voids by establishing a national strategy. Bennet noted that firms target minors with gambling-like games, specifically online poker machines.
She summed up by saying:
"Parents with kids that are accessing [these] games are seeing that these games are no longer just innocent fun, that they're actually starting to incorporate elements of gambling because they are grooming the next generation of losers."