As one of the countries where the government opposes online gambling, it comes as a surprise that a federal inquiry is underway with regards to online gambling and related advertising in relation to the Interactive Gambling and Broadcasting Amendment (Online Transactions and Other Measures) Bill of 2011. The Chief Executive of Sportsbet spoke at the hearing and put up a respectable case for the activity.
The Issue of Problem Gambling
One of the primary issues discussed was that of problem gambling. Representatives for online gambling refuted that online operators provide more protection to potential problem gamblers than land-based casinos. This is all conducted through third-party verification and analytics programs.
Holes in the System
For instance, many problem gamblers attempt to beat the system by attempting to open multiple accounts so they are able to wager beyond the limits enforced by casinos. Another method is to open a new account the same email address and phone number but a different address. The real-time software finds common profile characteristics within similar accounts and flags them to be reviewed by the fraud team who takes the necessary steps for removal.
One issue the Australian government has with current regulations is the 90 day period for verification of customers. During this time period, players are unable to withdraw funds. At the same time, players could lose money during the verification period. However, advocates for online gambling singapore sports betting opined that completing the required verification prior to being able to open a real-money account is likely to drive players to unregulated sites which are much worse.
Overall, advocates demanded a need for a set of federal standards to confirm players are fully protected. They also felt that it is important for Australian gambling operators to make financial contributions to the national gambling problem fund which would conduct gambling research and provide counseling to those who are registered problem gamblers.
Additionally, advocates cited several statistics put problem gambling into numeric terms. In recent research from the Queensland government, there was no evidence of an increase in problem gambling after the introduction of online gambling in 2001. Also, problem gambling is not higher amongst online gamblers when compared with land-based gamblers.