Gambling related articles
Australia's Problematic Pokies Predicament
The recent Australian election may spell bad news
for the gambling industry. Now, anti-gambling MP's
could hold power in Australian government which will
undoubtedly affect the online casino industry.
Senator Nick Xenophon has spoken passionately about
changing gambling laws and has been a known advocate
for anti-gambling since his original platform in 1997.
The Independent Party member has made it his life's
work to gain a reform for pokie law and is pushing
for a new limit on the gaming machines in Australia.
Xenophon is not
alone in his anti-gambling mission, as independent
MP, Andrew Wilkie has backed him. It is thought that
Australians lose up to $5 billion a year on pokies.
The pair sense that enough is enough and that gambling
is becoming a serious problem in Australia. They aim
to hit the industry hard, claiming that it is creating
"400,000 serious problem gamblers in Australia".
As a result of the estimated losses and potential
problem gamblers, laws for a pokies limit have been
proposed, a law which currently tops their agenda.
The current maximum bet states offer on pokies is
generally around $5-10. Though Xenophon and fellow
MPs which back the restrictions are pushing for a
$1 maximum bet to be enforced.
The potential 90% decrease in stake will undoubtedly
hit the gambling industry hard. However, similar laws
have already been introduced in the UK with little
repercussion. "Fruit machines" serve a limit of £5
per spin, and Las Vegas, the casino capital of the
world, which allows up to $125 per spin. Though Vegas
has enforced a limit, it still a near 1,500% increase
on that of the UK described pokies betting as "an
issue that will not go away" highlighting that there
is "400,000 people with a severe gambling addiction
or well on the way to getting one".
Whilst pokies has been high in the line of fire,
sports betting has not gone un-noticed. A ban on TV
advertising has also been called for with the main
target being sports betting sites being advertised
during matches on television. Xenophon and co have
been left unsatisfied by the self-regulatory code
that was introduced for online bookies recently, as
they remain skeptical that any sportsbooks are serious
There has long been talk of much
needed reform in Australia's gambling laws. Reformers
saw a glimmer of hope last year when Tony Abbott's
government ordered a review into online gaming laws.
However, the review into the Interactive Gambling
Act 2001 fell short as it ultimately failed to address
all relevant areas. The review did not address land-based
pokies, in turn, many viewed the review as a way of
enforcing the position of 'red-brick' casinos.
Whatever Xenophon's desire to restrict gambling,
it's always going to be a conflicting decision. States
desperate for cash are reliant on the pokies dollars
and are keen to increase their occupancy as it remains
no secret that Australia's pokies practices attract
billions in tax revenue.
And there is no denying the popularity of games amongst
the population, albeit mainly in the lower income
bracket. December last year saw a 6% increase in gambling
overall, with eSports and race wagering the most popular
forms of online gambling mainly amongst younger males.
When looking at the classic table games, such as roulette,
the trend also seems to continue. Recent
data from online operator 888casino shows that
Australia and the Pacific come in as the second luckiest
region, in relation to Europe, and that the optimal
age to win is the early senior years between 55-64,
a key demographic in Australia's gambling drive.
In addition, pro-gambling groups are firmly against
the decision. Leisure giants Clubs NSW, and the Australian
gambling industry in general, are set to stop at nothing
to oppose the ideals setting up counter campaigns.
The 90% decrease that Xenophon is calling for will
certainly have a lasting impact and it will be a resolute
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